Morgaine, gifted with the Sight and fated with her brother-lover's doom, recounts the glorious tragedy of Camelot's brief flowering - not as a tale of knightly deeds, but as a woman's rounded view of society in the crucible of change. Through the lives of pious Guinevere, ambitious Morgouse, austere Viviane and her successor as Lady of the Lake, Morgaine herself, this rich and haunting epic reveals a greater threat to the idyll than the Saxons. For the spread of patriarchal Roman ways and a narrow Christianity seem likely to alienate the Old People, and drive the ancient worship of the Mother forever into the mists...
A Study Guide for Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Novels for Students.This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Novels for Students for all of your research needs.
This is the tragic tale of the rise and fall of Camelot - but seen through the eyes of Camelot's women: the devout Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's Queen; Vivane, High priestess of Avalon and the Lady of the Lake; above all, Morgaine, possessor of the sight, the wise, the wise-woman fated to bring ruin on them all. Amazon.com Review Even readers who don't normally enjoy Arthurian legends will love this version, a retelling from the point of view of the women behind the throne. Morgaine (more commonly known as Morgan Le Fay) and Gwenhwyfar (a Welsh spelling of Guinevere) struggle for power, using Arthur as a way to score points and promote their respective worldviews. The Mists of Avalon's Camelot politics and intrigue take place at a time when Christianity is taking over the island-nation of Britain; Christianity vs. Faery, and God vs. Goddess are dominant themes. Young and old alike will enjoy this magical Arthurian reinvention by science fiction and fantasy veteran Marion Zimmer Bradley. --Bonnie Bouman Review "[A] monumental reimagining of the Arthurian legends . . . Reading it is a deeply moving and at times uncanny experience. . . . An impressive achievement." --The New York Times Book Review "Marion Zimmer Bradley has brilliantly and innovatively turned the myth inside out. . . . add[ing] a whole new dimension to our mythic history." --San Francisco Chronicle "Gripping . . . Superbly realized . . . A worthy addition to almost a thousand years of Arthurian tradition." --The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Through the generations the women of Avalon prepare for the coming of the Defender, the sacred king who will guard the old ways of the Britons and save their land from destruction. On the holy isle of Avalon, hidden in the mists between the world of Faerie and the world of men, they wait... For High Priestess Caillean, facing the Roman foe, salvation comes not through victory, but bitter sacrifice. Two hundred years later her successor Dierna faces a new enemy: the Saxon hordes who assail her people like savages. By the time of Viviane, Britain seems wholly lost. But a Merlin is made amongst the Druids once more, and the day of the Defender, who will come to be known as Arthur, draws close... A spellbinding historical fantasy, Lady of Avalon links the bestselling novels in the Avalon series - The Forests of Avalon and The Mists of Avalon.
As the Merlin of Britannia keeps his vigil atop the Tor of Avalon, Rian, the High Priestess of Avalon, dies giving birth to her fifth child. The girl, named Eilan with her mother's dying breath, takes life. From the stars the Merlin draws forth her prophecy: 'The child that was born at the Turning of Autumn, just as the night gave way to dawn, shall stand at the turning of the Age, the gateway between two worlds.' A prophecy of greatness, but it seems that she is destined to walk a path unlike any trodden by a Priestess of Avalon before... Eilan is taken to her father, King Coel, and raised in the Roman way as Helena, but in the year A.D. 259 the ten-yaer-old girl is returned to Avalon, the mystical place of her birth, to begin her training as a priestess and learn the ways of the Goddess. Yet her Aunt Ganeda, now High Priestess, is determined that Helena shall fail. Despite the odds, Helena grows to be a skille healer and a compassionate and gifted priestess, and on the moonlit night of her initiation she sees the face of the Roman, Constantius, the man she will love for the rest of her life. Her vision also reveals that he will be the father of the one whose light will blaze across the world, the one who will free Britannia from Roman tyranny. Constantius is lured to Avalon to fulfil his role in this but Helena joins him in a night of illicit passion. When this deceit is discovered they are banished from Avalon forever. Soon Constantius is drawn back to the politics of Rome, the ill fortunes of war and the irresistible rise of a powerful new religion, and as Helena contends with the dangers that surround them, it seems that the Merlin's prophecy is about to come true...
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. The Mists of Avalon is a 1982 novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley, in which she relates the Arthurian legends from the perspective of the female characters. The book follows the trajectory of Morgaine (often called Morgan Le Fay or Morgan of the Fairies in other works), a priestess fighting to save her matriarchal Celtic culture in a country where patriarchal Christianity threatens to destroy the pagan way of life. The book follows the lives of Gwenhwyfar, Viviane, Morgause, Igraine and other women who are often marginalized in Arthurian retellings. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are supporting rather than main characters. The Mists of Avalon is in stark contrast to other retellings of the Arthurian tales, which consistently paint Morgaine as a distant, one-dimensional evil witch or sorceress, with no real explanation given (or required) for her antipathy.
Marion Zimmer Bradley's beloved Avalon saga continues with the dramatic story of the ancestors of Avalon, from their life on the doomed island of Atlantis to their escape to the mist-shrouded isle of Britain.