Arthur's Sister's Story

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Editors: Jean C. Stine and Daniel G. Marowski
Date: 1984
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Critical essay; Excerpt
Length: 616 words

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[In the following excerpt, Quilligan gives a positive assessment of The Mists of Avalon.]

Of the various great matters of Western literature—the story of Troy, the legend of Charlemagne, the tales of Araby—none has more profoundly captured the imagination of English civilization than the saga of its own imperial dream, the romance of King Arthur and the Round Table....

The story of Arthur traditionally begins as the story of male lust....

In The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley's monumental reimagining of the Arthurian legends, the story begins differently, in the slow stages of female desire and of moral, even mythic, choice. Stepping into this world through the Avalon mists, we see the saga from an entirely untraditional perspective: not Arthur's, not Lancelot's, not Merlin's. We see the creation of Camelot from the vantage point of its principal women—Viviane, Gwenhwyfar, Morgaine and Igraine. This, the untold Arthurian story, is no less tragic, but...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1420001002