Merlin Conspiracy

minnow at minnow at
Fri Aug 27 10:34:55 EDT 2004

deborah wrote:
>On Thu, 26 Aug 2004 minnow at 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
>Oh!  This is the myth that Mary Stewart gives to ... some small king or

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.

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