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Medieval 'Bristol Merlin' manuscript fragments discovered

L-R: Leah Tether, Laura Chuhan Campbell, Michael Richardson and Benjamin Pohl University of Bristol

One of the fragments depicting the name Merlin University of Bristol

31 January 2019

School of Humanities' Dr Leah Tether and Dr Benjamin Pohl have formed part of a team of experts to analyse the fragments, which tell part of the Arthurian legend of Merlin the wizard, recently uncovered in Bristol Central Library by Michael Richardson (Special Collections Library).

Michael was searching for materials for the the new MA in Medieval Studies when he made the chance discovery inside a four-volume edition of the works of French scholar and reformer Jean Gerson (1363-1429).

Noticing that the fragments contained a number of names from the famous Arthurian legend, he contacted Dr Leah Tether (Department of English), who immediately assembled a team of experts including Dr Benjamin Pohl (Department of History) and Dr Laura Chuhan Campbell (University of Durham) to analyse them further. The fragments display evidence of slight, yet significant, differences to the traditional narrative, which may have exciting implications on our current understanding of the legend.

"Time and research will reveal what further secrets about the legends of Arthur, Merlin and the Holy Grail these fragments might hold" - Dr Tether

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