Friday, July 19, 2013

Morgan and the Faerie Queens have arrived

And with them eke, O Goddesse heavenly bright,
Mirrour of grace and Majestie divine,
Great Lady of the greatest Isle, whose light
Like Phoebus lampe throughout the world doth shine,
Shed thy faire beames into my feeble eyne,
And raise my thoughts too humble and too vile,
To thinke of that true glorious type of thine,
The argument of mine afflicted stile:
The which to heare, vouchsafe, O dearest dred a-while.

(The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser)

It has been a long wait but finally The Faerie Queens, edited by Sorita d'Este and David Rankine, is on the verge of being available, with notification being received from Avalonia Books this week that pre-orders could now be taken in readiness for the book's release next week.

It was in October 2011 that my proposed essay submission on Morgan le Fay (from the Arthurian legends) was accepted and I immersed myself into her story - from numerous interpretations of the Arthurian legend that has come down to us largely from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (once hailed to be the greatest piece of medieval English literature) to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon (the feminist favourite); from the 1980s movie, Excalibur, to today's television series of Merlin.

My exploration took me from the Arthurian Queen of the Faeries to a priestess of Avalon and back again.  It was a journey that both delighted me as well as filled me with frustration as I attempted to follow the reasoning behind the roles that she displayed during each incarnation.

In the end I realised that Morgan le Fay definitely had a right to be included in this anthology of work produced by Avalonia Books  because she was THE Faerie Queen.  She was the shapeshifter and sorceress, she seduced and prophesised, and even, by what is often depicted as a cruel twist of fate, appeared as the bestower of sovereignty by bringing forth Mordred as Arthur's heir when Guinevere could not.

Morgan le Fay
by Anthony Sandys (1864)
And she her selfe of beautie soveraigne Queene,
Faire Venus seemde unto his bed to bring
Her, whom he waking evermore did weene,
To be the chastest flowre, that ay did spring
On earthly braunch, the daughter of a king,
Now a loose Leman to vile service bound:
And eke the Graces seemed all to sing,
Hymen {i}{_o} Hymen, dauncing all around,
While freshest Flora her with Yvie girlond crownd.

(The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser)

So if you want to ensure that you do not miss out on this wonderfully exciting anthology, The Faerie Queens edited by Sorita d'Este and David Rankine, order your copy now from Avalonia Books, who generously offer free postage.