A Medieval Legend and its Dark Age Origins
by Tim Clarkson
73 in stock
About the Book
Who was Merlin? Is the famous wizard of Arthurian legend based on a real person? In this book, Merlin's origins are traced back to the story of Lailoken, a mysterious 'wild man' who is said to have lived in the Scottish Lowlands in the sixth century AD. The book considers the question of whether Lailoken belongs to myth or reality. It looks at the historical background of his story and discusses key characters such as Saint Kentigern of Glasgow and King Rhydderch of Dumbarton, as well as important events such as the Battle of Arfderydd.
Lailoken's reappearance in medieval Welsh literature as the fabled prophet Myrddin is also examined. Myrddin himself was eventually transformed into Merlin the wizard, King Arthur's friend and mentor. This is the Merlin we recognise today, not only in art and literature but also on screen. His earlier forms are less familiar, more remote, but can still be found among the lore and legend of the Dark Ages. Behind them we catch fleeting glimpses of an original figure who perhaps really did exist: a solitary fugitive, tormented by his experience of war, who roamed the hills and forests of southern Scotland long ago.
Paperback | Pub: 16 Feb 2004£25.00
The Great Hunger in nineteenth-century Ireland was a major human tragedy of modern times. Almost a million perished and a further two million emigrated in the wake of potato blight and economic collapse. Acute famine also gripped the Scottish...
Paperback | Pub: 01 Jun 2014£7.99
This is the inspiring and charming true story of one of the Second World War’s most unusual combatants – a 500-pound cigarettesmoking, beer-drinking brown bear. Originally adopted as a mascot by the Polish Army in Iran, Wojtek soon took...
Paperback | Pub: 20 Mar 2008£9.99
In this best-selling biography of John Knox, Rosalind K. Marshall traces the life of one of the Reformations’ central characters. Following his career in Scotland, England, France, Switzerland and Germany, she explains in straightforward terms...
Hardback | Pub: 04 Oct 2010£30.00
The Hebrides of Scotland – around 500 diverse islands – form the north-western Atlantic fringe of Europe. This book surveys the cultural landscape of this dramatically beautiful, complex and conflicted area, with emphasis on what may be...