Charles Butler hannibal at
Tue Apr 13 11:04:39 EDT 2004

 JOdel at wrote:

"I think that the main reason for the judgement that her The Dark is Rising
cycle was an imperialist/colonialist text wasn't because the main action
took place in Britain at all.

I think that was the politically-minded (and that series came out in a
highly politicized period) reviewer's perception of Cooper's "Old Ones"
oligarchal attitudes regarding the common humans they were "protecting". It
was a clumsy description of the problem and a misdiagnosis of what was
getting up their noses. "

You may well be right - I've certainly heard the elitist charge as well, and
indeed we've discussed it before here, as you say. But here are the passages
I had in mind (both from the *The Lion and the Unicorn* in the late 1990s):

And while at the end of The Dark is Rising the circle of Old Ones is
genuinely multi-ethnic and global in its composition, the setting for the
joining of the circles is, unsurprisingly, Britain, which is implicitly
presented as the seat of civilization and of Light, and of hope for the

These international touches have an unsettling imperialist edge. The Lords
of the Light-Merriman, The Lady, Bran, Arthur-are invariably English, and
the circles of the Old Ones reports back to England as if they were colonial
governors reporting to the home office.

Leave aside the fact that none of the named people *is* actually English...
it still puts it all in a pretty colonial light, doesn't it?


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