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.
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
Reissuing works originally published between 1929 and 1996, Routledge Library Editions: Arthurian Literature offers a selection of scholarship on the genre. Classic previously out-of-print works are brought back into print here in this small set of literary criticism, translation, art and drama.The enduring myth and legend appears from Mediaeval literature through to more modern writings and offers a spectrum of poetry and prose which is studied widely, as expemplified in this set.