The Book of Merlyn

The Book of Merlyn This magical account of King Arthur s last night on earth spent weeks on the New York Times best seller list following its publication in Even in addressing the profound issues of war and peace

  • Title: The Book of Merlyn
  • Author: T.H. White
  • ISBN: 9780292707696
  • Page: 155
  • Format: Paperback
  • This magical account of King Arthur s last night on earth spent weeks on the New York Times best seller list following its publication in 1977.Even in addressing the profound issues of war and peace, The Book of Merlyn retains the life and sparkle for which White is known The tale brings Arthur full circle, an ending, White wrote, that will turn my completed epic into aThis magical account of King Arthur s last night on earth spent weeks on the New York Times best seller list following its publication in 1977.Even in addressing the profound issues of war and peace, The Book of Merlyn retains the life and sparkle for which White is known The tale brings Arthur full circle, an ending, White wrote, that will turn my completed epic into a perfect fruit, rounded off and bright and done.

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    About "T.H. White"

    1. T.H. White

      Born in Bombay to English parents, Terence Hanbury White was educated at Cambridge and taught for some time at Stowe before deciding to write full time White moved to Ireland in 1939 as a conscientious objector to WWII, and lived out his years there White is best known for his sequence of Arthurian novels, The Once and Future King , first published together in 1958.

    477 thoughts on “The Book of Merlyn”

    1. What's the point?The Book of Merlyn, published posthumously, was T.H White's "True" ending to the otherwise beautiful Once and Future King. Having finished Once and Future King just a few days earlier, I was touched by the elegaic, bittersweet note upon which it ended. Once and Future King may be the finest fantasy novel ever written, and its final page is consequently one of the loveliest parting sentiments given to its eponymous hero.The Book of Merlyn takes place during the night prior to Art [...]


    2. This is a longer version of the last book in the collected The Once and Future King and also includes some material (the ant and goose segments) that was incorporated into The Sword in the Stone before this was published. If you've read both of those already what this adds is mostly, erm, depression. Sorry, Wart. Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown and all that.


    3. I must admit some bias associated with this unfortunately short novel. Although it is a little weak when trying to read it independently of The Once & Future King, when you read it immediately after that greater work it is pure brilliance.White's narrative tone draws you into a deceptive bedtime story world that swiftly moves with old/young Arthur through more metamorphic juxtapositions than a week's worth of "Wild Kingdom," as the fabled sorcerer returns on the night before Arthur's fateful [...]


    4. 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 [...]


    5. I’m not going to say a lot about this book because this book was somewhat unnecessary, in my opinion. The 4th book was the perfect ending. This book seems to rehash many things from the earlier books as well as mentioning how Guinevere went on to live and die in a covent. Lancelot lived as a hermit. His last miracle to the world releasing a scent of Heaven upon his death. Mostly, though this book seemed to be a philosophical look at the recurring theme that might isn’t always right as once b [...]


    6. "Even the Greek definition anthropos, He Who Looks Up, is inaccurate. Man seldom looks up above his own height after adolescence."Page 53"He knew suddenly that nobody, living upon the remotest, most barren crag in the ocean, could complain of a dull landscape so long as he would lift his eyes. In the sky there was a new landscape every minute, in every pool of the sea rocks, a new world. He wanted time off, to live."Page 99"There is nothing so wonderful as to be out on a spring night in the coun [...]


    7. I'm not sure I agree with all the conclusions the author seems to come to, but this is a fabulous book. T.H. White was brilliant and self-aware, I think, if troubled. His arguments, if they are in fact his personal arguments, make sense if you keep in mind this was written in the midst of WWII.The book is heavy on animal parables, like the first in this series, The Sword in the Stone. Although The Book of Merlyn was not published in the author's lifetime, the stories of the ants and the geese ma [...]


    8. 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.Stil [...]


    9. I have four chapters left of this book and it is terrible. I don't understand a darn thing about it! No plot at all, Arthur is a communist ant and then a peaceful goose! I'm only a kid though and havent read once and future king. Thats why its so confusing probably. Advice to British Literature students dont choose this book for a project, BIG mistake!Finished It and it was terrible just like I found out four chapters before the end!~


    10. "The cheek of the human race," [Merlyn] exclaimed, "is something to knock you footless. Begin with the unthinkable universe; narrow down to the minute sun inside it; pass to the satellite of the sun which we are pleased to call the Earth; glance at the myriad algae, or whatever the things are called, of the sea, and at the uncountable microbes, going backwards to a minus infinity, which populate ourselves. Drop an eye on those quarter million other species I have mentioned, and upon the unmentio [...]


    11. Es un libro pequeño en el que se muestra como es la raza humana desde el punto de vista de los animales.Noté que a varias personas les pareció aburrido o piensan que no tiene tanto sentido. No soy muy afecta a los temas políticos pero me agradó está perspectiva, si fuera más extenso el libro probablemente me resultaría cansado leerlo, en mi caso no fue así.Me pareció conciso y me hizo reflexionar sobre cómo es el hombre como especie, las motivaciones que tenemos y que hacen que la his [...]


    12. Simple but beautiful book. I came to this after reading Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant, which takes up Merlyn's question, How do you end war? Ishiguro made me want to go back to the source (one of them, anyway). White offers no answers, but who does?


    13. The titular end of 'The Once and Future King'. This book was refused publication originally. Paper rationing during WWII and the anti-war tone were probably equally responsible for its refusal. It sat, unmolested in T.H. White's papers at UT - Austin. Why Texas ended up getting T.H. White's papers is a mystery to me. Anyway, it was discovered in the late 70s and published excitedly by University of Texas Press. While I loved The Once and Future King, and rather enjoyed The Book of Merlyn, the bo [...]


    14. The Book of Merlyn is White's initially unpublished conclusion to his masterpiece The Once and Future King. In this book, Merlyn takes the aged King, on the eve of his battle with Mordred, to the Badger's cave, where Nimuë left the negromancer. The animals, with Merlyn as their spokesman, present to the King an argument proposing that Homo sapiens be renamed Homo ferox. It is, no doubt, White's obvious venting of spleen against violence that kept this book from initial publication and continues [...]


    15. Every five years or so, I find a book I think is so important, I buy a second copy. One to mark up or to loan or both and one just for the joy of owning. Yes, I said it, some books are here just for the joy of owning them, of having them around - and this is one of those books. When I do find these important books that I need two copies of, they are not often fiction. I love this one not for the style of writing - which is often rough and some passages are taken verbatim from The Once and Future [...]


    16. This is more a wandering philosophical addendum than a book. It is White adding an exclamation point and a flourish to his work, making clear just how much of a mess he thinks modern man at mid-20th century has made of the world. I don't blame him for his outlook at that juncture, but his way of communicating it is not compelling. There is very little action that makes the reader want to join the narrator on these little asidesCOND READING: To my more critical self, as quoted above, the other fo [...]


    17. I hate to do this - normally I love T. H. White. But "Merlyn" was merely an excuse to rant about war and politics and the over-all nastiness of humanity. No action whatsoever, only rant, rant, rant. I did like the idea that geese are anarchists - but the rest was tiresome.


    18. An odd little sequel to The Once and Future King. Written in the run up to WWII, this is extremely political (much more so than TOAFK, which was pretty political to begin with).


    19. The Book of Merlyn is overall, a good ending to the pentalogy of The Once and Future King. This is despite the fact that 90% of the book is a discussion about war and politics, which forces White to limit the progression of the Arthurian Legend. Despite this, the book is still interesting. It has parallels with the works of other English authors, namely Lewis Carroll and George Orwell. It also uses two interesting themes present in movies to close out the book: the Final Goodbye and the Hero's R [...]


    20. Sylvia Townsend Warner, in her preface "The Story of the Book," does an excellent job of putting into context both this final volume of THE ONCE & FUTURE KING and the entire Arthur legend, as interpreted by T.H. White. She quotes extensively from his notes and his letters. In December of 1940, as WWII rages, White writes to his former Cambridge tutor:"I am going to add a new 5th volume, in which Arthur rejoins Merlyn underground (it turns out to be the badger's sett of Vol. I) and the animal [...]


    21. Too easily overlooked and very underrated, T.H. White's The Book of Merlyn is the keystone and fitting conclusion to the Once and Future King collection. Published posthumously, The Book of Merlyn serves as the resounding epilogue to first four books: the Round Table is no more, the kingdom is well-nigh collapsed, and the once innocent and naive young Wart is now an aged, broken, decrepid King Arthur, waiting alone in his tent, fully expecting to die in the next morning's battle. To this defeate [...]


    22. Intended as the final part of The Once and Future King, this tale of King Arthur and his wizardly tutor wasn't published until 1977, after White's death. Arthur, now old and faced with Mordred's rebellion, is taken by Merlyn to pay a visit to a council of animals. These include Archimedes the owl and the philosophical badger who played a role in Arthur's education. I've always liked White's version of Merlyn, a brilliant old man who is somewhat absent-minded due to his living backwards in time. [...]


    23. I originally picked up a paperback edition of this addition to T.H. White's The Once and Future King while in Oslo, Norway during the summer after seminary graduation. I read it, leaving the copy behind for Mother, then found a used hardcover edition when back in Chicago and read it for a second time.The text of The Book of Merlyn, while set at the occasion of Arthur's dying, is substantially an expansion of the training he previously received from the sorcerer in the art of kingship. Indeed, Me [...]


    24. For me, this was a disappointing follow-up to The Once and Future King. Most of the book is a conversation between King Arthur, Merlyn, and a council of animals regarding the pros and cons of various types of government and the nature of man and beast. Although it is considered the fifth and final part of the story, it is not at all like the first four parts. For a good portion of the book I felt like White was using the authoritative aura of Merlyn to advance his own ideas on government, and th [...]


    25. Mordred and Arthur are about to go to war. Merlyn brings Arthur back to his cave to meet with his animal friends and they hold council. There is a great deal of philosophy and politics and Arthur needs to get used to the idea of possibly dying. This was a great ending to the series. My one complaint:I could have done without Arthur's pity party about women, given the lack of freedom, of a child and of an occupation that Guinevere needs to live with. He was even warned in previous books about the [...]


    26. Comienza donde termina Camelot (The Once and Future King). Mayormente este libro es una última reunión de Arturo con Merlin junto con otros animales, algunos ya conocidos, en donde discuten básicamente en si fue correcta la forma en que Merlin enseñó sobre la vida a Arturo cuando éste era Verruga. El comentario del editor creo que ayuda bastante cuando leemos los diálogos de Merlin, (ya que yo, por lo menos, quería juzgarlo constantemente) quien tiene una postura en contra de la raza hum [...]


    27. A wonderful book! I just love Merlyn. I enjoyed this more than I enjoyed the first four books of the Once and Future King. I overall enjoyed the Once and Future King but I felt the stories were drawn out. With the book of Merlyn you get to see the nature of King Arthur and see who he has become. Much of this is lacking in the Once and Future King. The book of Merlyn is a great quick read full of fantasy, values, and insight on the affects of the decisions people make. A book to be enjoyed by all [...]


    28. White had wanted this book to be published as part of Once and Future King (OTFK), to bring the quintet full circle (his editor refused). As a result he stole some parts for OTFK, especially the ant and goose segments, while also leaving them in Book of Merlyn. This makes Book repetitive, overly pedantic, and plodding (from my point of view), as Merlyn continues to explore the Human Problem, war, and species specialization, in much of the same way that he may have taught. His last chapter, thoug [...]


    29. This book is terrible. It was a manuscript left by the author after he died and they never should have released it. It is a manifesto about the authors feelings about war and only vaguely disguised as a book about Arthur. The author did some of that in the previous books but it was part of the story. I knew about the self righteousness before I started the book but I enjoyed the previous books so much I thought I would finish the series. I wish I had saved my time.


    30. The author, T.H. White, titles this book "The Once and Future King" because he is one of those who believe that the story of King Arthur is filled with esoteric meaning and that Arthur will one day return. Many Celtics and other mystery religions believe this or similar events. I found the author's interpretation of the story of the Holy Grail to be intriguing. This is not a fast read, being from an older generation, but it is an experience.


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