NEVERLAND: Fabled Places and Fabulous Voyages of History and Legend by Steven Frimmer

NEVERLAND: Fabled Places and Fabulous Voyages of History and Legend

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In this thoroughly agreeable voyage through the realms of El Dorado, Atlantis, King Arthur and Prester John, Frimmer conjures up the romance of Neverland without succumbing to the lure of crackpot theories. He begins with the travelers' tales of Odysseus, Sinbad and St. Brendan, hypothesizing that these heroes personify the outer limits of geographic knowledge of their time. But unlike John Parker, who deals systematically with developing notions of geography in his study of Discovery (1972), it is the persistence of Neverlands in myth and literature that fascinates Frimmer. Thus his best chapters are on Arthur and Atlantis, two areas that Parker doesn't touch on. Frimmer pokes holes in Donnelly's Atlantis and Churchward's Lost Continent of Mu and is just as skeptical of the voguish identification of Atlantis with Minoan Thera. In the case of Arthur, he shows how Camelot was transformed into a Christian and, later, a Tudor court, and is now, quite fashionably, reverting to its Celtic beginnings. With so many enticing Neverlands crammed into one volume, Frimmer just skims the cream of each tradition and sometimes one feels that the author has more material than he knows what to do with. Yet Frimmer mines the sources without exhausting their appeal, and the idea that Neverlands may still serve psychic and social uses in today's world is something for readers to grow on.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Viking