Everyone knows of Arthur--the "once and future" legendary warrior who held off the invading Anglo-Saxons and preserved the Celtic identity of sixth-century England for forty years. But few know of Taliesin, who may have been poet to Arthur, and like Merlin, was said to have shamanic powers. Behind Taliesin's story lies a vast legacy of initiatic wisdom, much of it now lost. But enough remains to convey much of the ancient Celts' passionate spirit and religious practice. To create these tales, John Matthews has brilliantly mined medieval and premedieval sources, embellishing them where fragmentary with the rich heritage of Celtic folklore. Part legend, part fiction, part mythology, they are alive with the power of one of the most compelling mystical/literary traditions. "It is my hope," says Matthews, "that they provide a key to the secret lore of Britain, where once the Grail and the Cauldron were sought, and where the Sleeping Lord still awaits the One Who Is to Come, who will blow the Horn three times in the Cave of the Sleepers." Reading these lyrical, mysterious stories, we thrill that it is so.
Literature-Fiction, History-Criticism, Criticism-Theory,