Thursday, March 16, 2017

Merlin and the Discovery of Avalon in the New World by Graham Phillips review

Merlin and the Discovery of Avalon in the New World 
by Graham Phillips

This is a GREAT book!  Very interesting, informative, educational and exciting.  I felt as if I was Phileas Fogg setting out on a great adventure by the time I was finished reading the first page. This book held my attention all the way through, while there were a few places where the information was a little overwhelming, none of it was boring or not needed.    

The book definitely gives the information it hints at in the title. I love that. I hate to buy a book which leaves me feeling as if the title was never really addressed.  This book does leave you wanting more, but in a good way.

So-  here are the contents:
1.  Two Merlins
2.  A Boy with no Father
3.  The Notable Storm
4.  Ambrosius Emrys
5.  The Lady of the Lake
6.  Excaliber
7.  The Shakespeare Enigma
8.  The Alchemical Wedding
9.  Intrigue
10.  Where was Avalon?
11.  The Voyage of Maelduin
12. Meonia
13.  Island of the Dead
14.  The Fifth Element

Notes 213
Chronology of Events
Bibliography   227

The Bibliography is well worth reading just for itself. Wow!  After all my years of reading (I am 59 now, taught myself to read. Had read the Bible through before I went to Kindergarten) I find that in this type of book, the Bibliography and Notes are going to tell you what you are 'in for'.  This book was a surprise, and lived up to the promise of both.  The notes are clear, informative and easy to find/keep up with. I didn't miss the Index.

Now, on with the story!
I assume if you are interested in this book that you are a fan of Merlin, King Arthur or both.  I love all things Merlin!   I was constantly feeling my jaw drop (seriously) as I read this book.  I did not know there were two Merlins!
I did not know there was a REAL Merlin, and a REAL King Arthur. I did not know Merlin had a daughter!  These are just a few of the astonishing facts I found out while reading.

Graham takes you on a whirlwind ride as he tracks down the real Merlin, and where Merlin was buried- Rosicrucians, windmills, Native American Indians, Pilgrims, such are the characters on the stage Graham portrays- and I say stage because Shakespeare himself is part of this story!

The book starts with Graham explaining a bit about the King Arthur legend, then goes on to dig out the root of the name Merlin. Where Merlin came from, the real Merlin, the living breathing man Merlin.  He also gets down to the years Merlin lived, and leads you right to the time when Merlin left Britain in a boat, headed off the the West, to Avalon.

Graham explains that Avalon means Island of Apples.  He uses old writings to follow the trip made across the sea by others, and by doing so he deciphers their writings.  Demons throwing fireballs turns into lava exploding from a volcanic island. Graham unfolds the entire saga step by step in an easy to follow manner that makes sense.  Total sense.

I never knew that Excalibur was Merlin's sword first. 
Here is a picture of Graham holding a replica of Excalibur that Wilkinson Sword made.  There is a closeup of the handle, showing the two serpents which were emblems of Merlin.

For those only familiar with the Disney version of Merlin, or the Classics Illustrated or such 'new' tellings of the old tales, it comes as a surprise that Merlin was a warrior and king in his own right before he ever advised King Arthur. 

This book is full of little known facts of history, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Can't say that enough.  

Above is a bust that just might be the image of the man we know as Merlin.
In the story, Merlin had no father, the mother said she had sex with a god.  Back in the day, Roman consuls were as the emperor, considered gods.  So Merlin's father was evidently a Roman consul.  

So now we get to the 'New World' section of the book.  The Rosicrucians claimed they had found Merlin's grave on an island off the coast of North America.  Graham actually followed the old written documents of voyages taken before, and ended up in Vermont. 

In the 'Voyage of Maelduin's boat', after sailing past various islands (which Graham deciphers which they are), they discover the islands of the Otherworld.  On one of these islands there is a hermit who tells the travelers that he too' had come there from Ireland many years before.  His companions are now dead and he lives alone, guarding a stone upon which is inscribed an ancient text.'

Back to the Rosicrucians and their claim to have found Merlin's tomb in 1604.  Graham finds that an Irish expedition had been to the Americas in 510, and an English ship had been sailing the coast in 1604!  AND the leader was a Rosicrucian!

There was a Rosicrucian document entitled 'The Confessio Fraternitatis' or 'Confession of the Fraternity' that was published in 1615.  It stated that in Merlin's Tomb was 'the secret Word of the Lord'.  So great was it that 'if all other knowledge were lost it would be possible to rebuild from it alone.'  

In the book, we find that there is a Star Child that comes from Merlin's bloodline that is a key figure in World History.  You'll have to read the book to find out!

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