The Magus was the first novel John Fowles wrote, but his third to be published after The Collector (1963) and The Aristos (1964). He started writing it in the 1950s, under the original title of The Godgame. He based it partly on his experiences on the Greek island of Spetses, where he taught English for two years at the Anargyrios School. He worked on it for twelve years before its publication in 1965. Despite gaining critical and commercial success, he continued to rework it, publishing a final revision in 1977.
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