This new edition tells the story of...
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This new edition tells the story of the events and unique people living in and visiting Glastonbury in the early 20th Century - early characters of the British 'new age' movement and precursors of all that has happened in the town since the 1960's.
Foreword by Geoffrey Ashe
Click to read sample chapter
When The Avalonians was first published in 1993, it placed before the world previously unknown or unexplored aspects of the Glastonbury story and its personalities. This book is a history of what happened in Glastonbury in the early 20th Century, and the mystics and thinkers who lived and visited here in the pursuit of their quests.
The seminal figure who emerged from the shadows to become the prime mover and shaker of everything that followed was shown to be the medic and antiquarian John Arthur Goodchild who died in 1914. Under what seemed to be psychic direction, he placed a curious glass vessel within the waters of a spring outside the town known as Bride's Well.
This took on the character of a kind of ritual enactment, requiring a woman to receive the inspiration to retrieve it. If she did, the world would be changed. In the later stages of this experiment he involved his friend, who bore the dual literary personality of William Sharp/Fiona Macleod.
True to Goodchild's design, the object was indeed recovered as hoped for, and events took on a momentum of their own to draw in such young enthusiasts as Wellesley Tudor Pole and his 'triad' of maidens.
Others soon arrived to include the educationist Alice Buckton, the architect and psychical researcher Frederick Bligh Bond, the composer Rutland Boughton - much indebted to Fiona Macleod, and the occultist and white magician Dion Fortune.
The author and publishers agree that the time has now come to review and expand the material originally presented in The Avalonians in the light of new information and research. While retaining much of the original text, every effort has been taken to ensure that this second edition is even more accurate than before, taking care to respect its deserved acclaim as the definitive account of the Avalonian revival.
At a key period in Glastonbury's history, Patrick Benham had close personal contacts with people who provided much important archival material for this story. Since the first edition of The Avalonians, he has received more fascinating material on the subject. He is a teacher, musician and composer of guitar music. He lives not far from Glastonbury.