- Title: The Quest for Merlin
- Author: Nikolai Tolstoy
- ISBN: 9780316850803
- Page: 450
- Format: Paperback
Did Merlin really exist, or is he part of a fairy tale Nikolai Tolstoy eloquently argues that the wizard Merlin did in fact exist Through the use of diverse and rare literary sources, he shows Merlin to have been a historical figure one of the last heirs to druidic tradition 16 pages of black and white photos.
Recent Comments "The Quest for Merlin"
Nikolai Tolstoy, a distant relative to Count Leo and latterly a parliamentary representative for the deluded United Kingdom Independence Party, confesses to being hooked on Arthurian legend for as long as he can remember. The twin fruits of his obsession were his novel, The Coming of the King, and this non-fiction work. Tolstoy delves into the traditional sources from Welsh poetry and into the wider British myths and annals of the time to present a multi-faceted Merlin, one who was very much a h [...]
Much like what has been done in multiple books with Arthur and a few with Robin Hood, Tolstoy makes a case for Merlin being a real life person and tries to seperate truth from fiction with everything pertaining to Merlin. Tolstoy delves into a lot of different areas in this book. He looks into the Lugh/Odin connection to Merlin and his final theory on Merlin is that he was a priest of Lugh/Odin. Tolstoy also thinks Merlin had no connection to the real Arthur. Besides that lots of interesting obs [...]
Read this ages ago. Speculation + re-examination of primary sources = plausible version of Dark Ages Hx. Read this, Warlords And Holy Men, and the Gododdin to get a view of Scotland before it was Scotland.
There will never be a final end to the quest but this is worth the reading. A novelist's account of the myths and history surrounding Merlin
The Quest for Merlin is too scholarly to be a fun read. For a fairly sophisticated reader who is also a fan of the Arthurian Legends Tolstoy has much to teach. He overreaches his evidence, but this may add to the appeal for those who are less punctilious about rules of scholarship. This is not a bad book, but the appeal has to be limited.Nikolai Tolstoy makes the conclusion that Merlin, the famous Merlin of Author and the Round table existed. Except that:His name may not have been Merlin,He live [...]
The thesis of this book is that Merlin was a sixth century pagan shaman living in Scotland. Tolstoy seems to me to make a good case - it's certainly very detailed and thorough - but since this isn't my field, I can't really say how plausible it really is. Its thoroughness makes it a rather stodgy read at times, and I didn't finish it.
Threw in the towel about 100 pages in. Circular arguments that are based on wishful speculation than true research.
It's years since I read it, but it's brilliant.
This was a really excellent read for anyone interested in European myth and Celtic Lore. Tolstoy's work draws on the oldest fragments of Welsh poetry along with ethnography and some actual field work to place Merlin within the historical context of people moving from Celtic religion to Christianity, and the subsequent consumption of the Merlin myth by the church. "For at its most archaic level of symbolism the shaman originates from the oldest archetype of all, the Trickster. If the shaman perso [...]
I could rate some chapters of this book 5. And the book has the most marvelous preface, a great introduction to myth, underscoring why the Arthur story has resonated. His chapters trying to trace the mythological background of Merlin are the best in the book where he relates the celebrated wizard to shamans and figures in other mythological traditions. Unfortunately, his epilogue is not very organized, too many random thoughts about myth.All that said, for those interested in the Arthurian legen [...]
I was apparently on page 110 when I had to return this to the library, says a note I just found that was written when I was in college. I do remember this book. It was very interesting and incredibly well researched, but I remember it being rather dry and a bit overwhelming in terms of lots of information in a small space. Also, I think I was starting to get out of my Arthurian love when I read this, so that may color it a bit. If you're into Arthur (and I like Merlin the best in all of the tale [...]
I don't always agree with Tolstoy's interpretations or conclusions, but this is a thoroughly-researched book that can offer some new interesting insights about the greatest wizard of all.(He's the son of Leo, by the way.)
This is 'nonfiction' about Merlin, but I am skeptical so much could be written about him since he is probably onlyy in a few pages of history.
Do you want to know who the real Merlin is and how he lived? Nikolai Tolstoy found him out.
Best read as a crazy novel but great fun.
So far, this is totally insane in the best possible way.
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