The recently deceased John Michell was an extraordinarily prolific writer and an extraordinary prolific character all round - it was reported that even as he was passing his final days in the West Country he was seen (bilocating obviously, and ever the bibliophile) in the Charing Cross Road, but it is almost as if he had been doing this all his life, such is the ubiquity of the man and his acquaintance and geography (Only a few days ago, a Medium friend of mine told me of a year long Gypsy Caravan trip he took around Ireland with a close acquaintance - when did this occur in his chronology?)
He was a `seminal' figure of the 1960s, knew everyone from the Stones to the Incredible String Band and was the founding spirit of the Glastonbury Festival; no surprise that he is often described in terms of being a proto New Age/Hippie type (he somehow was able to keep up the phenomenal quantity AND quality of written and visual work over the decades whilst smoking copious amounts of weed)
But Michell was a living contradiction, a cosmological mathematician and a true philosopher of the most knowledgeable and scholarly cast, fitting with ease into the Classical Ancient systems of thought as exemplified by his beloved Plato.
To Michell there is no Pagan/Christian schism and this book, though centred primarily on Glastonbury, ranges from the depths of prehistory to the 20th century and all points of the globe. This impressively compact 168 pages therefore constitutes an ideal introduction to Michell's vast output and one sentence near the end seems, if anything can, to perhaps best sum up the central theme of his life's work:
`Behind all the legends, prophecies and revelations at Glastonbury can be discerned one single theme: that the will of God will finally prevail, and humanity will rediscover its natural condition within an earthly paradise.'