An indepth work on the origins of the Merlin of Arthurian legend, this book examines early texts, thirteenth century romances focusing particularly on Merlin as a character, rather than those where Merlin is a background cast member. The outline here starts with looking at the genre and the place of fantasy, moving on to consider the attitudes towards magic and magic-users in medieval times. Main works considered are Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae and Vita Merlini; the Vulgate cycle, Suite du Merlin; and finally Malory’s work. The author asserts that each portrays a different approach to Merlin but all are tied to history and to the Christian religion.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The Good Magician Before Merlin: Secular Tales and Saints’ Lives 2. Merlin the Prophet: Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia 3. Merlin Beatified: The Vita Merlini 4. The King’s Right Hand: The Vulgate Merlin 5. Magician Beware: The Suite du Merlin 6. Conclusion: Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. Appendix 1: Summary, Robert de Boron’s Merlin. Appendix 2: Summary, Vulgate Merlin. Appendix 3: Summary, Suite du Merlin