The Death of Merlin

Arthurian Myth and Alchemy

Walter Johannes Stein

Available (printed to order)

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Traces the origins of the story of King Arthur and the Grail, and explores the parallels between the quest for the Grail and the medieval search for the Philosopher's Stone.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Mind, Body, Spirit
240 pages
Publication date:
21 Feb 2008


The story of King Arthur and the Grail still holds a remarkable fascination for many people. In this classic work, Walter Johannes Stein traces its origins in early Christianity and classical and Nordic mythology, and follows its development in medieval and modern times.

In particular Stein explores the parallels between the quest for the Grail and the medieval alchemists' search for the Philosopher's Stone.

This book is a collection of essays that were first published, or delivered as lectures, in the 1920s and 1930s. The first section of the book is Stein's own memoirs, which ground his research in the cultural background of the era.


'This book contains a series of essays and lectures written by one whose spiritual development was personally overseen by the great anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner … I really enjoyed it, and learned a lot!'
-- Inner Light Magazine, Summer 2008

'Stein explores the early development of the mythic corpus of Grail legends … Highly recommended.'
-- BM Cauldron, May 2008

'Walter Johnnes Stein was a polymath who was one of the leading followers of Steiner. It was a lecture by Stein in the 1930s that kindled the spiritual insight of the then agnostic Sir George Trevelyan … One of the most interesting parts is the first chapter of the memoirs in which the author describes his own background, education and encounter with Steiner … This is the work of an erudite man steeped in western culture but whose spiritual sight has also been opened. It is a remarkable series of essays.'
-- Scientific and Medical Network Review, Spring 2008


Walter Johannes Stein (1891-1957) was an Austrian philosopher and a pioneer of anthroposophy. He studied at Vienna University and was a student of Rudolf Steiner. After the First World War, Steiner invited Stein to teach history and German literature at the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart. There, Stein began his life-long research on the Grail legend. In 1928, he published a book on the subject, Weltgeschichte im Lichte des heiligen Gral (The Ninth Century and the Holy Grail). He moved to London in 1933 and was editor of the journal, The Present Age.


You may also be interested in our other books featuring Arthurian Legends:
Gawain and the Grail Quest
Legends of King Arthur
Rosslyn Treasury

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