Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The True History of Merlin the Magician” as Want to Read:
The True History of Merlin the Magician
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The True History of Merlin the Magician

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  18 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Merlin the Magician has remained an enthralling and curious individual since he was first introduced in the twelfth century though the pages of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae. But although the Merlin of literature and Arthurian myth is well known, Merlin the "historical" figure and his relation to medieval magic are less familiar. In this book Anne Lawren ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Yale University Press (first published October 15th 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The True History of Merlin the Magician, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The True History of Merlin the Magician

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. TolkienThe Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyDaughter of the Forest by Juliet MarillierThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Best of Mythic Fiction
327th out of 433 books — 558 voters
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Once and Future King by T.H. WhiteMary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy by Mary StewartLe Morte d'Arthur by Thomas MaloryThe Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
Best Arthurian Fiction
273rd out of 341 books — 1,202 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 84)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Chris
The writing is as dry as burnt toast. The author easily accepts the notion of a historical Merlin despite providing no evidence of Merlin being mentioned by his contemporaries, which would seem to fall anywhere from the era of Julius Caesar to after the Roman abandonment of Britain. I often found myself confused about what sources were being used, the timeline of a particular anecdote and often wondering what point the author was trying to make. The most interesting part of the book for me was h ...more
Chris Davies
Some people seem to be missing the point about this book. It is made very clear at the beginning that Merlin was invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth, but for four hundred years people believed he was real. This book is about the history of the character during that period. So you will find no attempts to discover the 'real' Merlin here, because that person did not exist. I found it an interesting read, giving a different perspective on changing attitudes to magic and prophecy during the period. I a ...more
Amy
Every time I discover another non-fiction author who writes so well, so interestingly, that I simply can't put the book down, I consider myself lucky.

Ms. Lawrence-Mathers is not one if those authors. Further, she presumes much in the the way of baseline knowledge, meaning I had to read with a computer near to hand so I could look up what I was reading.
Gwen Burrow
Fun ride through history's different thoughts of (and reactions to) the great Merlin, but Anne Lawrence-Mathers misses out because she can't (or won't) make any judgment calls on whether Merlin was good, bad, or both. Or why.
Stanley Faris
Stanley Faris marked it as to-read
May 15, 2015
Patrick Easter
Patrick Easter marked it as to-read
May 07, 2015
Glory
Glory marked it as to-read
Apr 03, 2015
Megan M.
Megan M. is currently reading it
Mar 17, 2015
Siraj Shaikh
Siraj Shaikh marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2015
Lisa
Lisa marked it as to-read
Feb 05, 2015
Nancy Yob
Nancy Yob marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2015
Jill
Jill added it
Jan 24, 2015
Tisha
Tisha marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2015
Esraaxd
Esraaxd marked it as to-read
Dec 25, 2014
Savannah
Savannah marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
Ian
Ian marked it as to-read
Nov 03, 2014
Roy
Roy marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2014
Star Gypsy
Star Gypsy marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2014
Grant
Grant marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2014
Jinxa
Jinxa marked it as to-read
Sep 02, 2014
Nancy
Nancy marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2014
Erika Ludorf
Erika Ludorf marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2014
Diana
Diana marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2014
Paul
Paul marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Women and Writing, c.1340-c.1650: The Domestication of Print Culture Magic and Medieval Society (Seminar Studies) Magic and Medieval Society Manuscripts in Northumbria in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries

Share This Book