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The book of Merlyn : the unpublished…
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The book of Merlyn : the unpublished conclusion to The once and future… (original 1977; edition 1978)

by T. H. White

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2,375212,637 (3.56)27
Member:comfypants
Title:The book of Merlyn : the unpublished conclusion to The once and future king
Authors:T. H. White
Info:New York : Berkley, 1978, c1977.
Collections:Read
Rating:1/2
Tags:fantasy

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The Book of Merlyn by T. H. White (1977)

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
This book was much publicized when it came out, but was disappointing. Apparently, the author used bits of it in the rest of "The Once and Future King". The characters are flat and didactic, and when I discovered that the book had been finished in 1941, the obsession with non-violence becomes understandable, but the treatment is unimaginative. give it a pass. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Aug 8, 2014 |
Interesting from an historical sense, T.H. White transferred large parts of "The Book of Merlyn" into "The Sword in the Stone." While uses this fifth volume to expostulate on war, writing during the early years of Britain's involvement in WWII. Unlike the earlier volumes that were included in "The Once and Future King," this one is less about Arthur or his knights than it is about mankind itself. Additionally, though White always included a bit of presentism through Merlyn, who is living backwards through time, this book has the most of it during Merlyn's lectures and those of the animals as they weigh in on mankind and its tendency to war. Arthur, when he is active, is brilliant as the representative of humanity trying his best to do right, but the story glosses over his death, with White discussing the various interpretations of Arthur's death through different writers as if he were writing a literary critique of his own work.
Anyone who wants to know more about White or the history behind "The Once and Future King" should pick up a copy of this if they come across it, but it's not necessary for enjoyment of the Arthurian legend as White interpreted it. The book is more about White's horror at World War II and, though it's beginning and end are tied to the larger narrative of "The Once and Future King," the middle is a philosophical lecture about the nature of war. Despite these caveats, White's beautiful prose is on full display here and Trevor Stubley's illustrations are haunting, especially as he portrays the aged Arthur. ( )
1 vote DarthDeverell | Feb 3, 2014 |
My All-time Favorite book ( )
  ejpells | Jan 13, 2014 |
The Book of Merlyn is a bit of a disappointment in some ways. Parts of it, for a start, were cannibalised for The Sword in the Stone, in the collected edition, and so they've lost their freshness and originality when read again here. For another thing, the whole book is basically a philosophical treatise on the possibilities of the prevention of war. It goes on and on in a rather didactic fashion, and one could skip whole chunks of Merlyn's dialogue in particular without losing out on story.

Still, there are some beautiful moments of pathos, particularly for the aged Arthur, and Merlyn is at several points his good old amusing self. So it's still fun to read. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
The Book of Merlyn is a bit odd to read, particularly in the omnibus edition, because T.H. White cannibalised it for the version of the novels which were published together -- if I'm remembering the publishing history right, anyway. It's also not really much of a story: just an old Arthur reunited with Merlyn and the animals of his education, trying to puzzle out where things went wrong. It's all very political, with references to socialism, communism, capitalism, Karl Marx, anarchism, etc, and trying to relate them to the natural world.

There are still some beautiful parts, like the extended part where Arthur flies with the geese, so it is worth reading.

(But not for a dissertation on Sir Kay, who is not so much as mentioned. Still, I had to make sure.) ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
T. H. Whiteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stubley, TrevorIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, Syliva TownsendIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425038262, Mass Market Paperback)

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:25 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Follows the events of the last days of King Arthur and his magician, Merlyn, in this conclusion to "The Once and Future King." An evocative and exciting tale of wizardry and war, this magnificent fantasy of the last days of King Arthur, his faithful magician and his animal teachers, completes the tragedy and romance of T. H. White's masterpiece The Once and Future King.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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