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30th June 2015
Undiscovered Scotland - review
A selection from a recent review in Undiscovered Scotland - thank you Undiscovered Scotland - full review on
"... Ardrey demonstrates how all the "facts" we know, or think we know, about Arthur can neatly be slotted into the Scottish landscape. Avalon, Camelot and Arthur's twelve recorded battles can all be shown to have had a Scottish context, as can legends such as the Round Table, Excalibur and The Sword in the Stone.
If any of this was obvious, then there would have been nothing new or different for Ardrey to write.
As you read the author's account... you know that there will be many historians left unhappy with at least some of the conclusions. But given the problems many of those same historians have had finding convincing candidates for Arthur, what emerges from Ardrey's book has a sense of underlying rightness... we emerged with the strong sense that Adam Ardrey's Arthur comes closer to the real man behind the legend than any other interpretation we've read or seen."
Yup, thanks again Undiscovered Scotland.
30th June 2015
Florence and Edinburgh and Arthur
Just back from Florence where I met the Provost of Edinburgh in the Palazzo Vecchio - all kitted out in full highland dress on a very hot day... the Provost, not me. He did Scotland proud.
The Florentines were celebrating the history of their city with men marching and women dancing, all in 15th c. costumes.
Scotland has a century of history it has still to celebrate - a time commonly called, somewhat vaguely, the Age of Arthur (because, until recently, it has been unidentified). It was in fact, in history, the 6th c. CE.
Ever wondered why Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, is called Arthur's Seat?
18th June 2015
Full house for my talk at the National Library of Scotland.
Great reception from an informed, and, more to the point, an interested-in-finding-out-more audience.
Met Mr Scott of Crammond Historical Society for the second time. We met for the first time when I was trying to find the real 'Merlin's Well' at Barnton (the magic spring of Barenton, according the magic-legends). I asked him, a random person, for directions, and he took the time to take me to the very place. That's how great people can be.
Another member of the audience kindly told me that she had been researching Arthur/Merlin for forty years and that I had an amazing amount of information and... well, she was going to read the books.
It was a great day - thanks to the people of the National Library of Scotland and my daughter Kay who worked the Powerpoint and provided support and the best of company.
17th June 2015
After five years of deciding not to decide Argyll Council asked for a business plan - 18 months after this was produced... not a peep: and so I wrote with a SAE (see below).
Now they have said they will discuss my proposal (safety in numbers when they No?).
Costs - next to nothing, press release and link on website.
Potential - £millions.
And... we will see.
National Library of Scotland today.
11th June 2015
Contra Hocus Pocus
I want to thank you for all the work you have done towards your books, Finding Merlin, and Finding Arthur… I started my own quest for a historical basis (as I wanted to leave behind as much of the hocus pocus...as possible) for Merlin and Arthur…Nothing I found really seemed to hold any weight until I found a mention of you on a website referring to Blaise as Merlin's tutor. It all finally seemed to make sense from that point, and I devoured your books…Thank you for… everything you've already done,
10th June 2015
Arthur and the Loch Ness Monster
Five years ago I put it to Argyll Council that the matter of Arthur could boost tourism in Argyll.
This could have worked even if they did not think that the legendary Arthur was the historical Arthur Mac Aedan of Argyll. After all, there is no Loch Ness Monster and tourists still go to Loch Ness to see it.
At one meeting in Argyll I was told, "We have enough history." The implication being - we can't handle or we don't need any more history.
How can you have enough history?
Argyll Council have still not said No to my tourism suggestion. (I think they have decided No but they have not said this to me.)
Two weeks ago I sent to the Council a stamped addressed envelope with a wee bit of paper in it with a No on it - all they had to do was tick a box and send it back.
6th June 2015
Argyll & National Library of Scotland
Still nothing from Argyll.
I have pussy-footed about the matter of Arthur for too long.
I have produced the evidence and expected people to consider it - Duh!
Almost everyone who has considered the evidence has accepted that Arthur was in fact, in history, a Scot.
The problem is, some people have vested interests:in the settlement the southern Arthur legend promotes; in Christianity; in not thinking about evidence.
Those who accept the traditional view are like religious people who believe in a 'truth' that has been revealed to them by some authorative body - and because it works for them.
The alternative is to go where the evidence leads.
I have now decided to turn things round.
Next week, at the National Library, I will say Arthur and 'Merlin' were men of Scotland who were later mythologised.
And if anyone disagrees...
31st May 2015
I cannot say what the Americans are about to do publicise the fact that the legendary Arthur was Arthur Mac Aedan - not until October 2015.
I can say what my own Scots are doing – nothing.
In 2010 I asked councillors in Argyll if they were interested in using Arthur/Arthur Mac Aedan to promote tourism.
A simple Yes or No would have been Ok (although an informed, reasoned decision would have been better).
It was as if I had written to the representatives of Brigadoon.
Five years and they still have not said Yes or No.
Even a No, which is what I expect, would do - at least, that would be something. (I have given up hope of an informed/reasoned response.)
Last week I sent a stamped addressed envelope and a piece of paper with Yes and No on it to Argyll Council – all they will have to do is tick a box and send it back to me.
We will see.
It is a Scotsman’s inalienable right to be told, as we say in Scotland, to go and take a run and jump.
28th May 2015
National Library of Scotland
The National Library of Scotland has given me an hour to speak on 17th June.
How do I to get 100 years of 'new' Scottish history across?
That is, history that has been unknown until... well, until Finding Merlin/Finding Arthur.
If I provide too much detail the audience will not see the big picture.
If I provide too little detail the audience may think the evidence is thin.
I could point to the absence of evidence for a southern British Arthur - it does not even include an Arthur.
And then say, now look how the picture changes when Arthur is recognised as Arthur Mac Aedan (c.559-596CE) - then every material question can be answered.
Camelot? Avalon? Excalibur? 'Merlin'? All twelve Nennius battles?
These and many more questions that are easy to answer, when you look at the right time and to the right place(and when you delete the myth and magic and supernatural/religious stuff).
24th May 2015
Watergate and Arthur and 'Merlin'
The Watergate scandal included dirty-tricks and a cover-up.
So too does the matter of Arthur/'Merlin.'
The history included..., no, includes a way of life in which women and gay men had a real say, indeed an increasing say (no one gave much thought to lesbian women).
Arthur and 'Merlin' were men of the Old Way of the Druids - as was 'Merlin's' sister, the estimable Languoreth. The Old Way of the Druids was more inclusive than the Christian Church (which was not difficult).
The Christian Church, which was taking increasing control of society in the 'age of Arthur', thought powerful women and openly gay men were anathema.
This is one of the reasons why, when the Christian Church gained almost complete control, the history that included Arthur and 'Merlin' and the Old Way, was, in effect, re-written - the truth was covered-up.
It has been ever thus - As Orwell (?) said, if you control the past you control the present and the future.
The above was inspired by yesterday's wonderful news from Ireland - that the Irish people had stepped away from the supernatural and stepped toward the human-natural [sic] when they voted decisively for Gay Marriage.
21st May 2015
I have been too stolid
I think my posts have been too stolid (probably because most of the people who write about Arthur/Merlin are flighty nutters and I didn't want to end up in the flighty-nutters box).
So - more chatty from now on.
I am looking forward to my talk at the National Library of Scotland on 19th June.
Following past talks, at question-time, some people talk at length, to show off what they know, and never actually ask a question. I will be having none of that.
On one occasion, speaking in Argyll, a local, publically-funded historian, who spoke for an age, eventually concluded with - We have enough history in Argyll.
How can you have enough history?
And we pay for people like this.
PS I almost added an "!" to the end of that last sentence before I remembered only nutters do that.
16th May 2015
Finding Arthur - Arthur has been found in history.
I will be speaking about the historical Arthur at the National Library of Scotland in June 2015.
I will be be talking about the fact that all the supernatural stuff in the legend of Arthur (magical swords and stones &c.) is only there because the facts of the matter of Arthur weighed and indeed still weigh against the interests of the Christian Church.
The facts of the matter of Arthur also weighed against the interests of those who had political power in days gone by, and weigh against the interests of those who have political power today.
Poor old Arthur (Mac Aedan): he was up against the Church and the State, what chance did he have?
There was a real sword (the sword that came to be called Excalibur) and a real stone (the stone on the summit of Dunadd) and indeed a real Arthur (Arthur Mac Aedan c.559-596CE).
Avalon (Iona); Badon (Baodan/Badden); Merlin (Lailoken); Blaise (Cathen the druid) &c. &c. &c. are all explicable when the supernatural is deleted and the facts of the matter of Arthur are objectively considered.
For too long the history that gave rise to the legend of Arthur has been deliberately covered-up to please the Christian Church.
If anyone disagrees - let me know.
Finding Arthur - Paperback UK - 6th May 2015
The paperback of Finding Arthur, which is presently available in the USA (and online), will be published in the UK at the end of July 2015.
National Library of Scotland - 21st April 2015
I will be speaking at the National Library of Scotland on the matter of Arthur/'Merlin' in June 2015 - see NLS website (events). Remember, no magic is involved, just history.
W.B. 7th April 2015
Finding Arthur was something that was bound to happen, because the evidence has always been there to be found.
It just happened to be me that found the evidence, realised what it meant and wrote a book about it.
Just as, if Darwin had not found evidence for Natural Selection, realised what it meant and written a book about it, someone else would have done it.
These things were bound to happen.
Nothing is more powerful that an idea whose time has come (Victor Hugo).
7th April 2015
People are flocking to Scotland to see locations where the fictional Outlander was filmed. This show has come and it will soon go.
Arthur and Merlin are immortal in the public consciousness.
In Scotland the locations where the actual historical events that inspired the legends of Arthur and Merlin are still there to be seen.
The very stone from which Arthur really did take a sword, for example.
There is an image of this stone in this website's Gallery.
17th February 2015
The Scots Magazine - March 2015
"Adam Ardrey... gives the Scots a world-famous hero they never knew they had" says David McLaughlan in his review of Finding Arthur. I am grateful to him for his many kind words.
No one who has read my books has said that I am wrong about Arthur being a man of Scotland, specifically Arthur Mac Aedan.
Many people (none of whom have read my books) have said I cannot be right, just cannot.
I have challenged people to read Finding Merlin and Finding Arthur and, if they think I am wrong, to say I am wrong and why.
I will give them a fair hearing on this website.
The review in The Scots Magazine, March 2015, is on the NEWS page of this website.
31st January 2015
To a tour guide
If I were a tour guide taking visitors about the Kilmartin Glen, Argyll, I would tell them that in 574CE the real Arthur, Arthur Mac Aedan, the man who gave rise to the legend of ‘King Arthur’, really did take a sword from a stone at Dunadd hillfort.
Arthur Mac Aedan put his foot into the footprint cut into the stone on Dunadd’s summit and, when he stepped out of the footprint, holding a sword, he really did take a sword from a stone.
This was the historical event that gave rise to the wonderful story of the sword and the stone. No magic was involved.
I would then suggest they searched on-line for ‘King Arthur Badon’. When they found that Badon was one of the legendary Arthur’s most famous battles, I would point out that the land south of Dunadd, north of Dunardry, is still to this day called Badden (originally Baodan).
I would then point to Dunardry, the great hill that looms over the Crinan Canal, and suggest they search on-line for ‘Merlin Arderydd.’ When they found that ‘Merlin’ fought at Arderydd in 573CE, one year before Arthur took a sword from a stone, I would ask them if they thought all this was just a coincidence.
Then I would wait and see if anyone was interested.
Who in the world would not be interested in the fact that one of the most famous stories ever told was in fact founded on Scottish history.
PS The legendary Arthur was said to have been buried on an island set in the western sea. Arthur Mac Aedan was buried in Oran’s Graveyard, Iona, an island set in the western sea.
There is more, much more.
Berwick; Borders; Edinburgh (Arthur's Seat); Falkirk; Stirling; Perth; Glasgow; Loch Lomond (Ben Arthur); Oban; Kilkerran and more, much more.
The English and the Welsh and the French all make much of spurious Arthur/Merlin connnections but they do not have history on their side.
Now, following the publication of Finding Merlin and Finding Arthur, we in Scotland have history on our side.
Who wants to be on the right side of history?
29th January 2015
Arthur - man of the south or north?
Arthur was not a Christian, English, king.
Arthur was not just a legend.
He was an historical figure.
The problem England and Wales have is that they do not have an historical Arthur.
Scotland does not have this problem. Scotland has Arthur Mac Aedan.
Arthur Mac Aedan (c559-596) lived at the same time as a man called Merlin (c.540-618).
The legends make sense in the history and geography of Scotland - no magic is needed.
See Finding Merlin and Finding Arthur.
Warner Bros. & 'King' Arthur
Warner Bros. is about to make a series of Arthur films set… when and where?
I don’t know.
It may be they will set these films in the right time and place, the 6th century of Arthur Mac Aedan, or, as is usually the case, in no particular time, in no particular place, and with no particular Arthur.
Go with the facts? Go with the legend?
Why not go with both?
Because the status quo is comfy (albeit, the status quo will soon be redundant).
Now, if Warner Bros. could say, for the first time ever, based on a true story...
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times says, ‘There’s enormous irony [in Finding Merlin] in saying that the two key figures in a bedrock English tradition are Scotsmen.’
That is not quite what I say – I say, in both Finding Merlin and Finding Arthur, that while Arthur, Arthur Mac Aedan, was a Scot, the man called Merlin was a Briton.
Still, I can’t complain because the Los Angeles Times goes on to say that I apply ‘as rigorous an exegesis as you might find in John Meier’s scholarship on the historical Jesus…[and] what emerges… is a fascinating picture of the British Isles after the Romans.’
Click on an image to see it enlarged.
Audio Book of Finding Merlin - Audible Books UK 2013.
The only image of an Arthurian battle-site (Bassas) is now in the Gallery.
Photographs of Camlann (Arthur's last battle) and Avalon are now in the Gallery. (Click on them to see them big.)
The legendary Arthur is commonly presented as a Christian English King when, in reality, he was an historical figure, a man of the old way of the druids, a Scot and a warlord. Merlin too lived in history: he was the preeminent druid of the 6th century. Unlike Arthur, Merlin was too closely associated with the old ways of the druids to be Christianised and so he was 'made safe' by Christians who presented him as an old, avuncular, somewhat scatter-brained figure.
Merlin’s twin-sister, the equally important Gwyneth, known as Languoreth (The Golden One), the Lioness of Damnonia and the Swan-necked Woman, was all but written out of history, simply because she was a woman. Typical!
For 1,500 years the Christian Church and its temporal partners-in-power deleted historical evidence and fabricated a legend that, literally, suited their book.
There is an alternative.
In the film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) it was said, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
The alternative is to print both.
No one cares about anyone else’s family history (and quite right too): and so it was that when I was researching my family name, Ardrey, I looked where no one else had looked and found what no one else had found.
I already knew that the earliest reference to Merlin had him at the battle of Arderydd, fought on the Scotland-England border in 573CE, and that the very next year the historical figure Arthur Mac Aedan was based at the hillfort of Dunardry [sic] in Argyll.
Adam Ardrey is an advocate living in Glasgow, Scotland with his wife and three children. Finding Merlin is his first book.
2nd April 2015
From: USA email@example.com
I cannot say how wondrously accurate Finding Arthur is… [this writer kindly said, I had done] great service in connecting everything together.
t April 2015
Name: K**** D**
Email Address:USA firstname.lastname@example.org
Message: I really enjoyed your book, Finding Arthur, it opened so much truth and history that has been missing to us for all these years. I also liked how in many of your conclusion you applied Occam's Razor, and it makes so much sense. Great research and thank you for uncovering the truth.
16th March 2015
From: A***** G**** email@example.com
Sent: 16 March 2015 16:55
Subject: Finding Arthur
Dear Adam Ardrey,
... I am reading your very interesting book...
16th March 2015
Name: c**** g******
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message: Mr. Ardrey, I very much liked both Finding Merlin and Finding Arthur. Wikipedia has a lot of entries that need updating! Maybe that could be your next project.
(I wrote back to CG and said I did not know how to add to Wiki. but that it was a good idea.)
23rd February 2015
Name: K***** Y********
Email Address: email@example.com
Message: Big fan of both your books. I've been intrigued by Arthur, Merlin and Grail legends for decades....
17th February 2015 (from Germany)
... your book helps to spread out the information on an Arthur from Scotland. The evidence is so proof that there is not any doubt about it...
11th February 2015
From - G****** S******* (from Brazil)
...I read your book finding merlin, and I'm sure : [it] is the best on the subject. I am a big fan of merlin and arthur among others, and I'm eager to see the films and arthur books to come.
10th February 2015
From I*** G*******
I must say that I find your case for Arthur MacAedan compelling. I have quietly assumed that Arthur was Gododdin. But I find your proposed Cat Celydon confederates with Arthur as leader very logical. And of course your route to Tribuit takes us neatly to the old ramparts of Roxburgh which has many rumours of Arthur whistling about it! It would make aq great day tour from Edinburgh!
8th February 2015
I have just come across your site. How fascinating...
7th November 2014
Email Address: a*********@*****.com
Message: Hello Mr. Ardrey!
I have been reading your Finding Arthur, and have found it amazing! I enjoy many of the arguments you bring up. I have a huge interest in history, and must admit to a mild obsession with King Arthur... I agree that Arthur Mac Aedan was very probably the historical Arthur, but I do have a few questions about a few of your theories...
[These questions were asked and answered.]
10th October 2014
I have just been reading Finding Arthur, having been recommended to do so by P****** T*******, seanacchie for M*******. S******* are connected to Clan M*******, with footsteps accordingly back to Dunardry, Dunnadd, and Ireland.
Finding Arthur has been an amazing learning experience for me, for the history, the stripping aside of the agendas and propaganda of early writers (while finding and pursuing the kernel of any contained truth), and also for your rigorous analytical skills in doing so.
A magnificent read as well.,,
24th August 2014
Adam, finished "Finding Arthur", very, very good! Loved it.
30th June 2014
I just finished reading Finding Merlin yesterday and the day before, I ordered Finding Arthur which arrived last night. I just finished it tonight - couldn't put it down. Both of them are absolutely wonderful and very well worked out. An enormous amount of detective work and dedication.
I can see you are not enamored with the church and it's methods past and probably present and neither am I. So, I'd just like to say well done for speaking your mind on that front.
Can I ask one question? [this Q was asked and answered].
We should take a leaf out of the Church method of working and now flood the market with books about the Scottish Arthur! Only this time they will be factual.
Thanks very much for an excellent read.
13th May 2014
Name: J***** K P***
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message: Hello, my name is J***** and I am very interested in your books and your research. I too am a Merlin seeker and scholar though my interests are a bit more magical that yours are I think :) I'm planning a UK pilgrimage for 2015 that should eventually turn into a book about my spiritual journey in the path of Merlin and I have added a lot of sites to visit that I hadn't know previously thanks to your book and blogs...
Thanks and keep up the good work!
J***** K P***
San Francisco, CA
29th April 2014
I finished the book last week. I really enjoyed it and thought that your arguments were very well presented and followed a logic that would be difficult to argue with. I have recommended the book to some of my Irish colleagues who have an interest in Irish history.
8th April 2014
Name: r** d*****
Email Address: email@example.com
Message: just read "finding arthur" - now need to locate a copy of "finding merlin" - fine job of grounding the arthuriad in the people and places of the times. "arthur" and "aneirin" being use names/nicknamesmakes perfect sense...
11th April 2014
C***** C****** S******
I am writing regarding the book, Finding Merlin. My 14 year old daughter recently checked the book out from our local library. She loves the book but found that the title is misspelled on the slipcover/spine.
When she's done with this book she's going back for Arthur.
[On the cover of the USA Edn. Merlin is spelled 'Merln' - a glitch got us - such is life. Adam Ardrey]
7th April 2014
I'm finishing up Finding Arthur and I wanted to tell you that I love it. Re: literary triplets (269), this is a common occurrence in Native American tale telling and I suspect probably quite common in most oral traditions. Repeating important items three times is a way to effectively teach the listener.
24th February 2014
L**** on For Argyll (On-line news)
From someone who had read Finding Arthur -
"...all references to battles, place names, Iona and especially to Merlin, make such sense. It all seems obvious. I am now a firm believer that the real Arthur lived and fought in Argyll (as well as other areas in Scotland)..."
22nd October 2014
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message: Hi, I'm really interested in your books... above all in "Finding Merlin". But I'm afraid my English is not good enough to understand everything. So, here is my question: do you know if your books will be translated into Italian? Thanks, best regards, G******
I replied to G****** 22nd October 2014.
21st September 2014
From - email@example.com
...I have seen your excellent website, and looked at your books…amazing! Very well researched and presented! I wish you all the best in your work…a Scottish King Arthur! Well done!
Very best wishes
J***** M. E**** D*******
29th January 2014
I was so pleased by your prompt... reply to my e-mail!... it is a rare rainy day here in southwest Florida... my husband and I have traveled to Glasgow, Edinburgh and the border country of Scotland several times over the years on pheasant "shoots" and love the country and the people. J** was saying just last evening that we should travel back to Scotland and see a different part of the country (Argyll and the Highlands?)... J***
28th January 2014
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message: I bought and read the new US edition of this book on the advice of our clan (MacTavish) association... I... did find a compelling and well-researched case for the historic basis of a real-life... Merlin of late sixth century Glasgow, and ample evidence that the real Arthur was a Manau Scot and not from southern England as the authors of conventional retellings of the legends would have it.
A masterful historical detective job, cutting through centuries of political and religious propaganda to unveil the truth behind the myths.
A must-read for Arthur, Merlin and Camelot buffs.
24th January 2014
"This was brilliant: "... the Old Way engendered individuality, and so disputation, both of which are good for humanity and bad for those in charge". I loved this book and am fortunate to have travelled to many of the Arthurian places in Scotland described in it."
3rd January 2014
Dear Mr. Ardrey,
I read Finding Merlin last year and have just finished Finding Arthur. Rather, I should say that I listened to them as I am blind and I rely on my Kindle Text to Speech facility. It struggles a bit with Celtic names but I was able to follow most of your arguments. I have long believed that any historical figure behind the Arthur legends was probably based in Scotland and I am delighted that your efforts have produced a viable candidate. I must say that your overall arguments have persuaded me that you are probably correct. I must congratulate you on such a difficult and well –argued investigation...
2nd January 2014
Name: E S******
Email Address: email@example.com
Message: Reading your book at the moment very interesting. Take a look at assessment online concerning Knappers farm at Drumry near Clydebank. Excavated in 1937 and thought to be the miniature Stonehenge in wood, unfortunately the war stopped work and then it was destroyed by the building of the A82 road. Some of the items found are in Hunterian Museum.
2nd January 2014
Name: T** McG*****
Hi Adam. Got your latest book for Christmas and still in the midst of reading it. I have always been a bit 50/50 about Arthur MacAedan but I find finding Arthur very convincing. Your highlighting of Arthur being airbrushed out of history then rebranded for the Christian establishment really hits the mark and we can see modern parallels in the way the right wing establishments in the UK and USA constantly discredit and attack anything they see as being left wing through misinformation and downright subterfuge. Just shows, things don't change much. The template of Arthur's world is now starting to fit into its proper location thanks to the work of writers like yourself who are who are hacking through 1500 years of establishment b******. I must check out Dunardey next time I am up in Knapdale.
Thoroughly enjoying your book. T**.
If you haven't gotten and read "Finding Arthur" you're missing out on one of the great detective stories of the times!
Got the book yesterday and I am reading in my spare time...can't put it down. David Carroll sold me on a Scottish Arthur....and your book is right along those lines. Thank you for the hard work and research!
21st November 2013
…I greatly enjoy reading history books... Your first book really interested me as I fish on the… water between Drumelzier and Dawyk and had never realised until reading your first book that any of the references to Merlin in the area had any veracity. The key thing in your books for me is the encouragement to get out there and have a look for yourself… your books have got me… looking at the landscapes differently. My kids also love your books and we were recently on top of the Meldon Hills questioning why we have so little information on these places... your books are important as they provide a very different perspective to the hum drum stuff that's regurgitated in most books... I also think that people should own up to where their perspectives come from - so again your writing is very clear on the different ways that people have tried to create a fixed story to meet their own ends. The exciting thing is that you have opened up so many different avenues - some of your arguments are more convincing than others but this is as it should be…