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Merlin: Shaman, Prophet, Magician

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  32 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Merlin, best known to us as the advisor of young King Arthur, is the most famous and familiar image of the magician that we possess. Acclaimed Arthurian expert John Matthews examines the many guises of this popular figure—as seer, prophet, magician, and inspiration to people from all walks of life. He explores the possible historic origins of Merlin as a Celtic king, the l ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published July 28th 2006 by MITCH (first published June 1st 2000)
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Oct 14, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it
Always a challenge to rate a popular book giving general information about a subject you have studied. You want the writer to present the material in a way that allows you to easily review familiar material. I was hoping for a more chronological account of the Merlin legends, but Matthews instead looks at the celebrated wizard's various manifestations, devoting chapters to his incarnations as a shaman, prophet, magician, lover and sage.

And for the brevity of the book, it is a pretty comprehensiv
Apr 26, 2016 Colin rated it really liked it
This book is a very good introduction to all of the different incarnations of Merlin from the earliest sources right up to the present day. As someone who hasn't read anything on the subject before i learnt a huge amount. The author is very familiar with all the main sources and makes some interesting comparisons such as with Virgil who people thought in the medieval period was a magician, and the earliest sources are the prophetic poems ascribed to Myrddin Wyllt (Merlin the wild) Merlin is also ...more
May 28, 2012 Alison rated it really liked it
A wonderful insight into the historical Merlin and the early history of Britain and Wales. Also as an English Teacher I found the poetry interesting. With Merlin and Arthur all the rage today, it's nice to see someone trying to get to the bottom of the legened rather than the myth.
Sarah Fournier
Very interesting. Not an academic source however. Some of his information does not match up with other sources I used in researching Merlin.
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John Matthews is an historian, folklorist and author. He has been a full time writer since 1980 and has produced over ninety books on the Arthurian Legends and Grail Studies, as well as short stories and a volume of poetry. He has devoted much of the past thirty years to the study of Arthurian Traditions and myth in general. His best known and most widely read works are ‘Pirates’ (Carlton/Atheneum ...more
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