Merlin Conspiracy

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Aug 27 10:34:55 EDT 2004


deborah wrote:
>On Thu, 26 Aug 2004 minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
>
>|Charlie wrote:
>|
>|>Esther posed a suite of interesting questions, including:
>|
>|>>Who has info on Gwyn from other sources?  Who is his wife?  Is he Hades?
>|
>|>Gwyn ap Nud is indeed a kind of Welsh Hades, connected in some way to Arawn
>|>of Annuvin (the Mabinogion version, not Lloyd Alexander's!)
>|
>|He turns up in some of the retellings of the Arthur stories, and kidnaps
>|Guinevere and takes her to his house under a hill or sometimes a lake,
>|or just in the middle of a lake.  Then she gets rescued by Lancelot as
>|usual.
>
>Oh!  This is the myth that Mary Stewart gives to ... some small king or
>another.

So she does! I'd forgotten that.  She conflates it with one of the
standard "Lancelot rescues Guinevere from some Dastardly Villain" events
that's pretty-much part of the canon, I think.  Is there a chess-piece
involved, or something? It's a long time since I read them...

>-deborah, who has actually only just read Stewart's Arthur for the first
>time, though I've loved _Thornyhold_ for years.

If you have loved Thornyhold, which is one of her most recent books,
have you met her earlier stuff as well? If not, you have a real treat in
store, because she did rattling good "thriller with love interest" for a
long time, and her heroines are in general not just wimps who get
kidnapped, they run the stories. For instance there's a car-chase
through France in *Madam Will You Talk?* in which the driver is the girl
-- who is no slouch behind the wheel! And that is set fairly soon after
WWII when it was quite unusual for people to write competent heroines.

I admired Stewart for making Mordred believable and as near as makes no
odds sympathetic, too.  For once he is given a motivation that makes
*sense* rather than just being bound to be a villain because he is an
incestuous bastard.

Minnow
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