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Merlin Paperback – January 4, 1989
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
books I've read. If you're looking for a piece
of historical fiction, this isn't it.
On the other hand, the author using her command
of Medieval languages has opened up some volumes
of historical fiction/prose which were
once accounted "romances" by the European
courtesans. Cooincidentally, much of what we
consider "Arthurian" literature falls into this
The genius of Dr. Goodrich in recounting some of
the geographical details and old world customs
of social-enumeration/entitlement, gives the
reader of this biography a lively sense of the
role of the character in life.
The people of the past were not bound, according
to her telling to simply a "name" + "surname"
sort of scheme as we know our families in
Rather, the people of history who became
legendary took to themselves multiple titles in
their routines and associations which asserted
their experiences or higher social associations
much like we confer the titles of rank and
courtship and educational status today.
(ie. Dr, Esquire, Senator, Professor, etc.)
The character of Merlin seems to have carried a
variety of titles bequeathed by the Celtic/Britons
and Roman/Christians of the 5th century A.D.
This author explores some of the meanings of
these titles and associations.
She also recounts the details of her visits in
search of historically mentioned sites
in this book and also her work on "Arthur."
A review of the book isn't the place to expound
all the implications of the characters and
characteristics associated with Merlin.Read more ›
Her sentences are disjointed, she makes frequent reference to events and myths without sufficient background information for the reader, and cannot seem to hold a cohesive thought in her head for more than the length of a sentence. Her writing skips off on tangents and rabbit trails, and generally fails to lead to any logical conclusions or coherent presentation.
The research is there, but she's unable to express it to her audience in either a narrative format or a reference format. A huge, huge disappointment.
This is not an easy read because it is not in narritave form, but it is loaded with the information you need to draw your own conclusions.
I had the distinct privilege of helping Dr. Goodrich prepare two of her books and she gratiously gave me mention in them, Guinevere and Priestesses. I have also counted her as a close personal friend for over 25 years and am familiar with her writing style and research methods, sometimes spanning many years on site in England, Scotland, Wales, France, and Ireland. Norma is fluent in ancient French, Latin, and the Celtic languages. She has free rein in the archives of the University of Paris and the research centers of Aachen, Germany, as well as the major universities in the United Kingdom. In short, she is more than qualified to do her research from the original manuscripts rather than rehashing the works of more recent writers, as so many other "experts" have done.
Other revierwer are quite right in saying that Norma's writing is difficult to read. To many it appears disjointed, but her style is that of a researcher, not a novelest or story teller. More than once I have suggested to her that it would be helpful to the lay reader to put a final chapter in each of her books summarizing in narritive form her beliefs and conclusions based on her foregoing research chapters. She agreed that it might be helpful but she never followed through, preferring to leave it up to the readers to form their own conclusions based on her research.
The subject matter is so esoteric and sparse, and so far into the distant past of the dark ages that details must often be teased out of legands and peripheral contemporary resources. Like her other works Merlin must be read then re-read for true understanding of the man and the world he lived in.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first read this years ago during related advanced graduate work. The book's quality is appalling, especially in terms of the naïve conclusions drawn out of wishful thinking, and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Essence
Forget what you thought you knew about Arthur, Guenevere, and Merlin. It's wrong. Read these three books by Goodrich and discover that once again reality is far better than the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Wayne A Spinaci
This was wonderfully informative and creative resource. Sure there were some awkward grammar spots, but it didn't take away from the content. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Aspen Moriarty
This book is illuminating. Yes It does require advanced reading skills and she does take a holistic approach, diverging to many different personalities but this is necessary to... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Ray
Having done the hard research, I can see the one massive flaw in Goodrich's methodology. She has read a great deal (in literature) and she is a good writer to capture an audience. Read morePublished on December 26, 2013 by Flint F. Johnson
I have enjoyed the connected books by Norma L Goodrich. I have read Arthur and Guinevere as well. I made them gifts to my sisters several years ago since we all share the same... Read morePublished on November 8, 2010 by Barbra L. Moran
On page 24 Ms. Goodrich talks about Merlin's Grass, which she says is from the Asklepios (sic) family & she says Merlin's Grass (Quillwort) is also pleurisy root & Butterfly weed. Read morePublished on September 29, 2010 by Kelly Fleming
The major problem are with the major claims of this book:
1) Camelot was Stirling, Scotland.
2) Avalon was the Isle of Man.
3) Gallia was Wales. Read more