Reading List


Folklore is not quite the ancient gods and goddesses, nor modern pop culture - but something in between, the by-the-waysides of the British tradition, in both their ancient and modern guises.

Merlin (1998) - Steve Barron


Serial | Television movie following the life of Merlin - really memorable, especially for its intermingling with fairy-lore. The cast is great, as is the overall mood.

✪ Excalibur (1981) - John Boorman


Film | I saw this film when I was very young, before I really read any Arthur, and so it is THE Arthur for me - and as I've grown older, I've remained in love with its sincere, whole-hearted storytelling, and its symbolic, dreamlike style. There was clearly more than one mushroom, and more than one tarot pack, on the set when this was being made; and the design is both historic yet fantastical. Fundamental to my vision of the Sun King. My review

✪ Robin of Sherwood (1984-86) - Richard Carpenter


Serial | *The* Robin Hood. Accept no substitutes. Essential viewing. This series is Solar-Lunar over Earth, Robin as Lightbringer. There's also some good inverted Sun King stuff here (depictions of what it looks like when the rule of the State goes awry), as well as a little bit of Solar-Stellar pastoral drop-out bliss of the land, and a quite astonishing quantity of Landweird. And it's fantastic television, and the music is great. Proper 1970s unambiguously occult kids teatime entertainment. Fuller writeup

The Secret Commonwealth (1691) - Robert Kirk

Book | A Scottish clergyman recorded the beliefs of his parishioners with considerable sympathy; a good primary source for the Good Folk

The Once and Future King (1958) - T.E. White

Book | I need to re-read this, and re-watch the films; our copy was given away in a house move.

The Green Knight (2021) - David Lowery


Film | Interviews with the director namechecked influences such as Excalibur and Labyrinth, so perhaps my expectations were too high. I didn't vibe with it at all, and without Patel's strong performance holding it together - he's charismatic enough to sell anything - it wouldn't have worked at all. There are some good bits, but as a film it just didn't land, and it flunks out on some important themes of the original. Still. It's interesting, but not interesting enough; a film needs a heart, not just image.