A lifetime's scholarship enabled John Morris to recreate a past hitherto hidden in myth and mystery. He describes the Arthurian Age as 'the starting point of future British history', for it saw the transition from Roman Britain to Great Britain, the establishment of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales from the collapse of the Pax Romana. In exploring political, social, economic, religious and cultural history from the fourth to the seventh century, his theme is one of continuity. That continuity is embodied in Arthur himself: 'in name he was the last Roman Emperor, but he ruled as the first medieval king.'
John Morris was the first professional historian to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the scattered evidence concerning the infant years of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, their influence on each other and their relationship with Europe. The Age of Arthur is now the classic account of the British Isles from the fourth to the seventh centuries. Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at University College, London, the late Dr John Morris founded the journal Past and Present in 1952 and was its first editor. He initiated a major new edition of the Doomsday Book and, with A.H.M. Jones, the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire. His last book, Londinium: London in the Roman Empire, was published in 1982.