Somebody asked me where I got the reference books and notes about Merlin because many of the points in the Origins book appeared to be historically accurate and that meant some studying or reading about ancient or medieval history.
It’s difficult to list all the books I have in my collection dealing with the Celts as a general population and more specifically Scotland and Ireland.? I’m a compulsive reader and go through a great many books in a year.? But what follows are some of the books I have on which I base much of my dreaming.
The four most interesting ones to date are:
1) The critically important “Le Morte D’Arthur’? written by Sir Thomas Malory in 1485 where Merlin was described as a very real and central figure in English history (for political purposes) by the imprisoned Malory. I have the Keith Baines translation from 1962.
2) “The True History of Merlin the Magician” by Anne Lawrence-Mathers (Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, University of Reading) 2012.? She describes how Merlin was treated as a real person by English historians for several hundred years and the impact this had on the politics of that time and indeed up to our time in our cultural history.
3) “War” by Dr. Gwynne Dyer describing the origins of war and how it developed as humans migrated out of Africa to the Eurasian steppes.
4) The podcast Hardcore History by Dan Carlin with his incredible stories and analysis of different historical events including the Celtic genocide by Julius Caesar.
After those four, the list grows and spreads along both serious history, poetry, and folklore? texts as well as random books that don’t fit easily into any standardized category.
Listing all of the books in my own library all is a task for a librarian rather than an author.
But Then My Brain Does …
But once all these sources land in my brain, something happens to them and they become more for me than what might appear to be a sum of all their parts. Merlin comes alive and he’s not the spawn of a virgin and devil (as some reference texts suggest) but rather an ordinary man who was somehow (and yes, I do know how – stay tuned for that story) transformed into a magical being.
And I have almost too much fun at that point.