Friday, August 23. 2019
I've always felt conflicted about the figure of Kign Arthur. As a historian of the early middle ages, he can be a problem, as the evidence for him is very thin, yet there are a lot of rather misleading books out there about him. As a writer, though, I find the whole canon of Arthurian works fascinating. We tend to tell the same story, these days, but in the 12th through 15th centuries, there were many many different stories told, with different heroes and different endings. Serpent Rose is one of those: I wrote it in an attempt to explore the characters of Lamorak de Galis, who is said to have been the third greatest of Arthur's knights, yet remains obscure in most retellings. The Prose Tristan contains elements of what may be lost stories about him, and I have used some of those. But his story wove its way into a story about the Orkney brothers, too, and particularly Gaheris. These days, he's one of the minor figures in the Arthur stories, but like his elder brother Gawain, he seems once to have been more significant, and, also like Gawain, his character has rather taken a beating from Sir Thomas Malory onwards. I've always rather liked him though, so...
Serpent Rose is high Arthuriana, set in the imaginary world of tournaments, heroic knights, quests and castles, rather than in a pseudo-early mediaeval context. It has a companion piece already written, which focuses on Gareth's wife (Lyonese/Llinos) and her story, and there are a couple more planned.
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Photo credit: Phil Nanson
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