King Arthur's Enchantresses: Morgan and Her Sisters in Arthurian Tradition

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I.B.Tauris, Oct 17, 2006 - History - 264 pages
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King Arthur: the very name summons visions of courtly chivalry and towering castles, of windswept battlefields and heroic quests, and above all of the monarch who dies but who one day shall return again.  The Arthurian legend lives on as powerfully and enduringly as ever. Yet there is an aspect to this myth which has been neglected, but which is perhaps its most potent part of all.  For central to the Arthurian stories are the mysterious, sexually alluring enchantresses, those spellcasters and mistresses of magic who wield extraordinary influence over Arthur's life and destiny, bestriding the Camelot mythology with a dark, brooding presence. Echoing the search for the Grail, Carolyne Larrington takes her readers on a quest of her own - to discover why these dangerous women continue to bewitch us.  Her journey takes in the enchantresses as they appear in poetry and painting, on the Internet and TV, in high culture and popular culture.  She shows that whether they be chaste or depraved, necrophiliacs or virgins, the Arthurian enchantresses  are manifestations of the feared, uncontainable Other, frightening and fascinating in equal measure.
 

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Contents

Magic and the Enchantress
7
Morgan and Arthur
29
Morgan and Chivalry
51
Morgan Other Knights and Enchantresses
74
Viviane the Damoiselle Cacheresse and the Lady of the Lake
97
The Queen of Orkney
122
Vivien and the Victorians
144
Morgan Morgause and the Modern Age
171
Notes
199
Bibliography
238
List of Pictures and Sources
253
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Page 240 - As Also, All the Noble Acts, and Heroicke Deeds of his Valiant Knights of the Round Table.

About the author (2006)

Carolyne Larrington is Fellow and Tutor in Medieval English at St John’s College, Oxford. She is the author and editor of several books, which include Women and Writing in Medieval Literature (1995), The Woman’s Companion to Mythology (1997) and The Poetic Edda: Essays on Mythological Poetry (2001). An expert on Arthurian myth, she is a regular contributor to TV and radio, and recently appeared on Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time (Radio 4) to discuss the cultural history of the Holy Grail.

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