DWJ and Robin McKinley appear in Carousel

Charles Butler hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Fri Jul 4 14:30:35 EDT 2003

No, not the musical, alas - the Birmingham-based children's lit magazine.

There's an interesting article by DWJ about the origins of certain elements
in the Merlin Conspiracy - to wit: Romanov, the elephant (based on Wendy in
Bristol Zoo, as discussed here previously), the island-universe hopping
(from a dream), the flower lady (just the same thing happened to DWJ as to
Roddy on a trip to Cornwall) and the reappearance of Nick (she was ordered
to bring him back by a small boy at a book-signing in Ross-on-Wye). And she
got the idea for the King's Progress from reading one of her son's books
(Colin Burrow presumably) where he talks about the peripatetic nature of
medieval kingship. I suppose it's all in copyright, but I'm happy to give
more details if anyone wants them.

In the same issue there's a confession by Robin McKinley to a howler in
Beauty (which I know many people on this list like - I haven't read it).
Apparently she has Beauty try to grow her roses from seed, which as any
gardner knows is *not* how it's done. But, she says, she was only 24 and
living in cold Maine, where roses will hardly grow anyway. It was Peter
Dickinson who got her into gardening....

By the way, has anyone else been struck by the way that Romanov is a kind of
souped-up Howl in some respects? The construction of his home from bits of
several worlds, for instance, and even the illness (all that green slime),
plus his general boniness and energy. Just a thought.


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