Monday, April 28, 2014

Arthurian Literature.


I have an fascination with Arthurian and Celtic mythology and the Middle Ages.  Not quite so heavy as my Halloween and Horror fascination/obsession, but present nonetheless.  I don't really know when it started, but I think a lot of people romanticize this time period and the legends that grew from the era. 

There was a time when I read everything I could get my hands on about the subject.  Morgan Llewelyn and his books about Druids and Ireland.  Mary Stewart who deepened my love for the topic.  Even non-fiction books about King Arthur.  My discoveries branched out and into the legend of Robin Hood, Welsh mythology and anything that touched upon it.  There was even a time when I wanted to get a degree in Medieval Studies.  (Okay, I still do.)

Looking at Goodreads, I realized that although I remember loving many of these books, I couldn't recall exactly what happened in all of them.  I miss these worlds and I'm remembering the retellings fondly.  There are so many versions.  Ones where Merlin is evil and Morgan Le Fey is good.  Ones where Camelot is a beautiful kingdom and ones where Brittain is dark and Arthur is rough and gritty.  Ones where Guinevere is misunderstood and ones where she doesn't even exist at all and represents, as many scholars say, a personification of the land.

Ironically, the second post I wrote on this blog from 2010 is titled Arthurian Mythology. It's a very short post and simply mentions the book I was reading at the time, Gwynhfar by Mercedes Lackey.   If only I had a blog even before then when I was reading all these great books (you know, before the internet even existed), I could now look back and refresh my memory on the plots and perhaps relive the delight I felt.  I'm really not one to re-read a lot of books, but I'm thinking that perhaps I should.  I don't just love to read, I love to talk about books and I won't be able to talk about them if I can't remember them.  But re-reading books that I read SO long ago may bring up other issues.  I've been reading some reviews of books I loved and I'm a little disappointed at some of them.  Are the books that I adored so much really trite and boring?  Maybe I should just keep the memories I have of them.

I'm also happy to find even more books on the topic than when I was reading them and discovering "old" titles as well.  Right now I'm reading Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliffe and I think I may have to incorporate more Arthurian legends into my blog and reading repetoire.

You can check out my Arthurian bookshelf list on Goodreads and you can also check out my Pinterest board of Arthurian books by clicking below.

Follow Midnyte Reader's board Books - Arthurian on Pinterest.





Image credit: paulfleet / 123RF Stock Photo

5 comments:

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

I can definitely pinpoint my interest in Arthurian stories- Mists of Avalon, which I read in high school. I was drawn to Arthur and Morganne, although I've never been partial to Guinevere- I think because I had a crush on Arthur and couldn't understand how she could fall for Lancelot.

Felicia S said...

I am going to look at your bookshelf. I love that time period, it is probably my 3rd favorite.

Aurian said...

O yes, I loved those Mary Stewart books about Merlin and Arthur and everything. I also loved a Belgian comic book series De Rode Ridder / The Red Knight.
And Marion Zimmer Bradley, but those books were heavy in Dutch.

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

I'm not sure if I've ready much Arthurian mythologies, but I have been on a big epic fantasy kick lately! Game of Thrones, Throne of Glass, Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen, etc. I'm just soaking them up! I'll have to take a look at your Arthurian shelf on Goodreads!

Also, I used to reread books all the time before I started blogging, and now I only really do it if it's a book in a series that I read a while ago and don't really remember, that way I can read the sequels... But rereading books from years ago is a lot of fun, and I plan on rereading some books I read before I started blogging soon, so that I can finish up the series and also write reviews on all of them. You can always get a review out of an old reread, if you haven't already reviewed it!

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