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Another note on King Arthur

For those of you who wondered about the consultant historian who worked on the film: John Matthews, along with his wife, is an "an internationally renowned authority on mythology and folklore with a special interest in the Arthurian and Grail traditions and Celtic lore. A professional writer since 1980, he has produced over forty books ranging from the worlds of the Celtic and Arthurian legends to collections of stories, essays, and poetry. His first-hand experience of native shamanism and druidism grounds his work in a practical and traditional foundation, making his books both communicative and exciting. He has given highly acclaimed workshops in Britain, Central Europe, and America. He is primarily concerned with the interpretation of myth as the key that will open the door to the lost sacred dimension of the world." (Bio quoted from questbooks.net.)

The current news page on his own website describes what he's currently working on, if you're interested in more information.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2004 01:07 pm (UTC)
oh god...not a person with first-hand experience in shamanism...no!!!!
Jul. 12th, 2004 04:25 pm (UTC)
I read this, and thought it was "first-hand experience in shamisen." Pity, because that would have been far more interesting.

The "lost sacred dimension of the world," though... can't help but think of it in terms of parallel universes, the way he puts it. (He's wrong though... myth isn't the key--ritual is!)
Jul. 12th, 2004 01:14 pm (UTC)
he has produced over forty books ranging from the worlds of the Celtic and Arthurian legends

...but what it doesn't say is that it's really one book, repackaged 40 different times.

i have a few of his books (some co-written with his wife, some not.) i like them; they have pretty pictures.
Jul. 12th, 2004 01:24 pm (UTC)
I look forward to mandatory courses in practical druidry for all aspiring medievalists...
Jul. 12th, 2004 05:26 pm (UTC)
Somewhere around here I think I still have one of his books; Taliesen with perhaps some subtitle I've forgotten. I bought it when I was a junior or a senior in high school and, as I recall, ended up more confused by it than anything else. As far as I'm concerned, it was a good example of how dependent we can be on the format of the book for information about the text. It puported to be a translation from some manuscript of poetry attributed to Taliesen, but it was illustrated, and contained (IIRC) a lack of details about the manuscript provenance or translation challenges; and it was illustrated. It left me rather at sea about the historicity of the person and the manuscript. Not what I'd call an edifying work.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )