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Finding Merlin: The Truth Behind the Legend of the Great Arthurian Mage

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Finding Merlin: The Truth Behind the Legend of the Great Arthurian Mage Cover

ISBN13: 9781590200988
ISBN10: 1590200985
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Review:

"Drawing on what he claims has been a history of suppression by England's political and religious authorities, Scottish writer Ardrey says Merlin did indeed exist but that our image of him is a myth: Merlin wasn't a wizard and King Arthur's 'avuncular' counselor but a revered scholar, politician and military commander in central Scotland in the late sixth and early seventh centuries. Merlin was a Celt, Ardrey claims, not an Anglo-Saxon, and was not Christian but adhered to the old ways of the druids, who sought to live harmoniously with others and with nature. Together with the great warlord Arthur Mac Aedan, son of the king of Scots, Merlin led the Britons and their Scots allies against the Angles. Ardrey takes aim at Mungo, Glasgow's patron saint and Merlin's archenemy, depicting him as the ruthlessly ambitious head of a group of Catholic fundamentalists 'akin to the twenty-first-century Taliban,' whose exploits were distorted by his 12th-century hagiographer, Jocelyn of Furness. Merlin is an enticing biographical subject, but Ardrey's pedantic style, his dull dissection of Jocelyn, and his long-winded digressions into the cross-dressing of Mungo's father or why Merlin couldn't have built Stonehenge don't enhance his argument. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Merlin has manifested himself through the centuries in a nimbus of myth, legend, chronicle, romance, poetry, novel, film and treatise upon treatise. He is chiefly associated with King Arthur but has further links to woodsy madmen, the Welsh Myrddin, the Strathclydian Lailoken and the Irish Suibne (Mad Sweeney). Now he's shown up again, though sadly reduced, shorn of his magical and prophetic powers... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Table of Contents

Finding Merlin Introduction

Chapter One: The Legend

Chapter Two: Morken's Children

Chapter Three: The Angles

Chapter Four: Signs and Portents

Chapter Five: The Old Way of the Druids

Chapter Six: Merlin ad Languoreth

Chapter Seven: The Magi and the Bards

Chapter Eight: Angle Land

Chapter Nine: The Hill of Death

Chapter Ten: The Murder of Telleyr

Chapter Eleven: Morken the Chief

Chapter Twelve: Cathen the Druid

Chapter Thirteen: Uther Pendragon, Son of the Sky God

Chapter Fourteen: The Battle of Arderydd

Chapter Fifteen: The Wilderness Years

Chapter Sixteen: Battle Rejoined

Chapter Seventeen: The Ring

Chapter Eighteen: The Army of Stags

Chapter Nineteen: Rome

Chapter Twenty: Twilight of the Druids

Chapter Twenty-One: The Harrowing of Galloway

Chapter Twenty-Two: Madman

Chapter Twenty-Three: Ardery Street

Chapter Twenty-Four: Stonehenge

Chapter Twenty-Five: 'Rhydderch is Dying'

Chapter Twenty-Six: The Dark Heart

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Dumpelder

Chapter Twenty-Eight: The Grave

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Mordred's Queen

Chapter Thirty: Le Morte de Merlin

Timeline

Notes and References

Select Bibliography

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Tivon, January 30, 2012 (view all comments by Tivon)
I wish this had a 4.5 star option...alas! Anyway. This book presents an absolutely engrossing new interpretation on the Arthurian legends, here focusing on Merlin and how he went from being a real Celtic man to the archetypal ancient wizard we know today, exploring the scraps of information about his life in the context of archeological evidence and the shifting religious and political currents of the sixth century. Unlike so many other historical volumes that have a very dry and technical feel that loads you down with information, "Finding Merlin" balances between being informative and an engaging storyteller--I found myself flying through the chapters even as I picked up several new items of information and reordered others. The only reason I couldn't quite give this a perfect 5-stars is because the author, at times, is a little too certain of his interpretation, not quite exploring all the options (though it got me thinking about them). And while I eventually became accustomed to it, he also doesn't always give an explanation of who a historical figure is, or where a location is, but like a novel, as you read, the pieces build until you do understand in the end. Despite these aspects, the information and his fresh interpretation of the Arthurian story are definitely worth the read for anyone interested in the lore or time period. I'm eagerly awaiting the next one when he explores Arthur!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781590200988
Author:
Ardrey, Adam
Publisher:
Overlook Press
Subject:
Folklore & Mythology
Subject:
Europe - Great Britain - General
Subject:
Spirituality - Celtic
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Historical - British
Subject:
Medieval
Subject:
History
Subject:
Merlin (legendary character)
Subject:
Great Britain - History - Anglo-
Subject:
World History-England General
Edition Description:
B-Hardcover
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.66x6.66x1.26 in. 1.35 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Medieval
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
History and Social Science » World History » Medieval and Renaissance
Humanities » Mythology » Arthurian
Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling
Religion » Christianity » Celtic

Finding Merlin: The Truth Behind the Legend of the Great Arthurian Mage New Hardcover
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Product details 384 pages Overlook Press - English 9781590200988 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Drawing on what he claims has been a history of suppression by England's political and religious authorities, Scottish writer Ardrey says Merlin did indeed exist but that our image of him is a myth: Merlin wasn't a wizard and King Arthur's 'avuncular' counselor but a revered scholar, politician and military commander in central Scotland in the late sixth and early seventh centuries. Merlin was a Celt, Ardrey claims, not an Anglo-Saxon, and was not Christian but adhered to the old ways of the druids, who sought to live harmoniously with others and with nature. Together with the great warlord Arthur Mac Aedan, son of the king of Scots, Merlin led the Britons and their Scots allies against the Angles. Ardrey takes aim at Mungo, Glasgow's patron saint and Merlin's archenemy, depicting him as the ruthlessly ambitious head of a group of Catholic fundamentalists 'akin to the twenty-first-century Taliban,' whose exploits were distorted by his 12th-century hagiographer, Jocelyn of Furness. Merlin is an enticing biographical subject, but Ardrey's pedantic style, his dull dissection of Jocelyn, and his long-winded digressions into the cross-dressing of Mungo's father or why Merlin couldn't have built Stonehenge don't enhance his argument. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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