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Todd Jensen writes...

In "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", when Macbeth starts reading the Scrolls of Merlin out loud, the part that he's reading is about Merlin's first encounter with the young Arthur and his impressions of the future king. Something that I've occasionally wondered over is that this does seem a bit late in Merlin's life to begin his autobiography, considering how many things had already happened to him (according to traditional legend), prior to his becoming Arthur's tutor (such as his boyhood encounter with Vortigern and the ensuing battle between the dragons, becoming involved with Stonehenge, helping to bring about Uther and Igraine's meeting and Arthur's subsequent conception at Tintagel, etc.). Were the Scrolls really only a partial autobiography, beginning relatively late in Merlin's life and career? (Which, if so, is a bit of a pity, but even an incomplete autobiography's better than nothing).

Greg responds...

There are at least two obvious possibilities.

One: That it was not an autobiography (despite what Macbeth may have said at the spur of the moment) but a history of Merlin's time with Arthur.

Two: That it opened with a reference to what even at the time Merlin must have known was the most significant thing to happen in his life. And that after the intro, he would eventually start at the beginning.

I'm not going to make that call at this time. But I'm hoping it's the latter.

Response recorded on September 23, 2003