JOHN MATTHEWS has been described as ‘Oxford’s expert on all things mythic’ and as ‘An Icon of the Arthurian world’. He is better known as an historian, folklorist and children’s author. He has been a full time writer since 1980 and has produced over ninety books on myth, the Arthurian Legends and Grail Studies, as well as short stories, a volume of poetry and several successful children’s books. He has devoted much of the past thirty years to the study of Arthurian Traditions and myth in general.
His best known and most widely read works are ‘Pirates’ (Carlton/ Athenaeum), No 1 children’s book on the New York Times Review best-seller list for 22 weeks in 2006, ‘The Grail, Quest for Eternal Life’ (Thames & Hudson, 1981) ‘The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom’ (Element, 1994) and ‘The Winter Solstice’ (Quest Books, 1999) which won the Benjamin Franklin Award for that year. His book ‘Celtic Warrior Chiefs’ was a New York Public Library recommended title for young people, and the more recent ‘Arthur of Albion’ won a Gold Medal from NAPPA, a gold Moonbeams award and a BIB Golden Apple Award.
John has been involved in a number of media projects, as an advisor and contributor, including an animated Arthurian TV series, and 'The Real Merlin' for Cannel 4 in UK. In 2003 he was the historical advisor to the Jerry Bruckheimer movie ‘King Arthur’, and has made appearances on both History Channel and Discovery Channel specials on Arthur and the Holy Grail. He shared a BAFTA award for his work on the Educational DVD made to accompany the King Arthur movie. He is currently acting as an advisor to the forthcoming feature: ‘Gladiators v Werewolves’.
Much in demand as a speaker both in Europe and the USA, he has taught at (among others) the Temenos Academy in London, St Hilda's College, Oxford, and at the University of Seattle in Washington. His groundbreaking series of classes on Celtic Shamanism have taught over 2000 students in the past 20 years.
He is working on several new projects, including a series of novels on the young King Arthur and an illustrated project with the renowned artist Brian Froud. He recently sold his first movie script and is currently developing several others under the banner of his own company, Mythwood Films. Their first full length feature, ‘The Mermaids’, is currently in pre-production.
He is married to the writer Caitlin Matthews with whom he has collaborated on a number of titles. They were recently cited no 86 in the Watkins list of most influential spiritual teachers. Their son, the actor Emrys Matthews, recently published his own first book. The Matthews live in Oxford, England.