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

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1845111137
ISBN-10: 1845111133
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Editorial Reviews

Review

""A good book on Arthur's enchantresses, Morgan-le-Fay among them, is long overdue, and this one is very good. Carolyne Larrington's wide knowledge of Arthurian literature, and her sensitivity to the cultural movements and gender politics that have shaped the creation of these women, make this the book of first recourse.""--Helen Cooper, Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English in the University of Cambridge
 
""Original, intelligent, persuasive and always interesting, Carolyne Larrington makes us see the Arthurian legends in a new light. For anyone with the slightest interest in the subject, King Arthur's Enchantresses will be essential reading.""--Allan Massie, author of Arthur the King
 
""If you have always loved the stories of the Knights of the Round Table, but want to know more: then this is the book for you. If you've heard of the names - Lancelot, Guinevere, Morgan Le Fay - but never read the stories: then King Arthur's Enchantresses is the book that you have to read. New ideas and lost interpretations are brought together in this hugely entertaining and clever book that bridges the gap between simple pleasure and real scholarship.""--Jeanette Winterson, author and broadcaster
 
""Marvelously subversive and entertaining.: --Bernard Cornwell, Times Online
 
""Repeatedly throws up arresting ideas... No wonder these legendary women have become the focus of a new-age feminist cult.""--Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Sunday Times, July 23, 2006
 
Author Interview-- Women's hour, BBC Radio 4, July 17, 2006
 
""By concentrating on the women and by offering a feminist examination of the Arthurian legends, Carolyne Larrington presents them in a new and challenging light."" --Literary Review
 
""Larrington records this harsh judgement, but her wide-ranging book presents Arthurian enchantresses, medieval and modern, as much more interesting and more powerful...Larrington covers a great deal of ground in this scholarly and often entertaining study"" --Times Literary Supplement
 
""Larrington presents an enormous amount of information in a readable and jargon-free style...Well-illusrated and frequently insightful...totally enchanting from start to finish."" --Fortean Times
 
""Clear writing and organization, useful summaries and careful documentation make King Arthur’s Enchantresses a book to recommend especially for students but also for all of us amateurs and professionals intrigued by feminine characters whose performance of magic tests cultural concepts of gender."" - Arthurian
 
 
 

About the Author

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris (October 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845111133
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845111137
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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By Charles Harrington on August 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm writing this review from the perspective of an Arthurian enthusiast and a modern pagan. For me, the most compelling characters in Arthurian lore were the Enchantresses with Morgan le Fay being my personal favorite. So as you might imagine this book was a bit of a holy grail for me when I discovered it. I loved its approach of looking at the literary origins of these ladies with care and attention to where and when major shifts began to appear in their characters. It explores which authors added what to their stories and meditates on why this happened.

As a pagan I loved that the author was able to sensitively debunk certain myths (that the Morrigan is the origin of Morgan le Fay) while still pointing out that the modern interpretations are valid shifts for the characters and in line with the way they have been shifting for centuries.

If you love Morgan, Nimue, Viviane, and all the rest then do get this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted an academic overview of the Arthurian mysteries according to what little fictional accounts exist and this book came through in aces. It gets a little long-winded in places, but definitely took care of my own research needs and was very helpful
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Format: Hardcover
I knew a bit of what was in this book before I purchased it, I had been using a library copy for work in obtaining my Master's Degree (My specialty is Arthurian literature and I needed some good sources on Morgan le Fay). However, I did not realize when I purchased this book, how beautiful a brand new copy was going to be. The text is informative and just what I needed and the beautiful paintings reproduced in the text were a pleasant surprise to find.
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The book analyses the enchantresses of the Arthurian romances (Morgan le Fay, the Lady of the Lake...) and their role in the stories we all know and enjoy. The analysis is done mostly through feminist criticism, but there are also interesting sections on magic. Overall, I found it a very engaging and informative book. The only fault that I noticed - and this is very personal, of course - is that very little space is devoted to the links between Morgan and her possible Celtic or pre-Celtic ancestors. Having read Loomis and Paton, I expected more on the topic - and perhaps something new. However, this is a very good book, to be read together with, for example, "On Arthurian Women. Essay in Memory of Maureen Fries" (2001).
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