Why Arthurian Legend?

Knights of the Round Table [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Someone actually asked me the other day why I write about Arthurian Legend when vampires, zombies and werewolves are where the money’s at. The short answer: Because Guinevere is in my head, not any of those other creatures.

The long answer? ::Takes a deep breath:: Well, for one, fads come and go, but Arthurian legend has endured for 1500 years. I’m proud to be putting my own stamp on it. But the truth is, I’ve been fascinated by this story since I was a little girl. I grew up on the musical Camelot and have always been attracted to the story. Heck, I’m the girl who wanted to have Guinevere as my confirmation name, but the nuns wouldn’t let me since there is no St. Guinevere. (I went with my next favorite myth and picked Marian instead, not understanding until years later just how appropriate that was for me.)

Other little girls latched on to Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, but Queen Guinevere was my fairy tale princess. I have hazy recollections a turning the pages of a book with colorful photos of castles and knights and ladies in long dresses. That’s where my imagination lives, deep within that world. And I’m happy there.

During my freshman year of college a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Mists of Avalon for Christmas. To this day, it’s one of my favorite books, but I hated Marian Zimmer Bradley’s portrayal of Guinevere as a meek, agoraphobic, Christian queen. Shortly after, I read a book that, while not all that believable, centered on what happened to Guinevere after Arthur’s death and I realized you don’t hear much about that. All you ever read (if anything) is she ended her days doing penance in a convent.

I started to wonder what did happen to her the fall of Camelot. And what was her life like before Arthur? I ran through all the stories in my head and realized Guinevere is rarely portrayed favorably and hasn’t really had a chance to tell her story. Viola, she came into my head and a story was born – one that has persisted for over 10 years and will hopefully be hitting your bookshelves in the next few years.

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  1. Pingback: Everything Old is New Again « Through the Mists of Time

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