Read The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley Free Online
Book Title: The Mists of Avalon|
The author of the book: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Edition: Alfred A. Knopf
Date of issue: December 21st 1982
ISBN 13: 9780394524061
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Reader ratings: 3.9
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 812 KB
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In this huge, enthralling novel, the legend of King Arthur is for the first time told through the lives, the visions, the perceptions of the women central to it. For the first time, the Arthurian world of Avalon and Camelot with all its passions and adventures -- the world that, through the centuries, each generation has re-created in countless works of fictions, poetry, drama -- is revealed as is might have been experienced by its heroines: by Queen Guinevere, Arthur's wife (here called Gwenhwyfar); by Igraine, his mother; by Viviane, the majestic Lady of the Lake, High Priestess of Avalon; and, most important, by Arthur's sister, Morgan, who has come down to us as Morgan of the Faeries, as Morgan le Fay -- as sorceress, as witch -- and who in this epic retelling of the story plays a crucial role both in Arthur's crowning and destruction. Above all it is a story of the profound conflict between Christianity and the old religion of Avalon.
Guinevere is the Christian -- first seen as an exquisite white and gold child, weeping, lost in the mists of Avalon. Dutifully married to Arthur, she is deeply in love with Lancelot, and fails with the direst of consequences to bear her husband a son. It is her uncompromising piety that draws Arthur, and all of Britain, under the powerful sway of the Christian priests, despite Arthur's sacred oath to uphold the old religion of Avalon.
Morgan is Guinevere's foil: ardent, intense in her loves and loyalties. A priestess of Avalon and possessed of the Sight, she is a tormented woman, torn y unrequited love for Lancelot and by failures as mother, sister, and wife. Consecrated Maiden of the Great Marriage, which binds the King to his Kingdom, it is her tragic and heroic fate to bring about the downfall of her brother, love, foe -- Arthur, who betrays Avalon and their past for a Christian future.
It is Morgan's vision that most powerfully colors this retelling. It is her voice, speaking for the ancient ways and for the Earth itself, that we hear at climactic moments as the great Arthurian drama in all its richness unfolds -- from Igraine's marriage; to Uther and the birth of Arthur to the mysterious intervention of Viviane, to the glories and treacheries of Arthur's kingship, the heroic deeds of Gawaine and his fellow Companions of the Round Table, the wisdom of the Merlin, the fatal ambition of Mordred, the slow but irreversible decline of Avalon.
As we follow her progress and Guinevere's -- and that of the immense cast of characters who surround them -- from their childhoods to the fulfillment of their destinies, we follow as well the destiny of Britain. With all the magic conviction and resonance of balled and ancient lore, The Mists of Avalon evokes a Britain both real and legendary -- from its desperate wars for survival against the Saxon invader to the glory of Camelot and a world at peace, to the tragedies that accompany the death of Arthur and the destruction of the mythic radiance he embodied.
Igraine, Viviane, Guinevere, Morgan. It is the strength and appeal of this book that their lives and feelings reveal the legend of Arthur as if it were new, and, at the same time, allow us to read it with spontaneous recognition and sympathy. In The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley gives us at once a superb rendering of pure story, a re-creation of legend, and a brilliant edition to the literature of Arthur.
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Read information about the authorMarion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley was an American author of fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, often with a feminist outlook.
Bradley's first published novel-length work was Falcons of Narabedla, first published in the May 1957 issue of Other Worlds. When she was a child, Bradley stated that she enjoyed reading adventure fantasy authors such as Henry Kuttner, Edmond Hamilton, and Leigh Brackett, especially when they wrote about "the glint of strange suns on worlds that never were and never would be." Her first novel and much of her subsequent work show their influence strongly.
Early in her career, writing as Morgan Ives, Miriam Gardner, John Dexter, and Lee Chapman, Marion Zimmer Bradley produced several works outside the speculative fiction genre, including some gay and lesbian pulp fiction novels. For example, I Am a Lesbian was published in 1962. Though relatively tame by today's standards, they were considered pornographic when published, and for a long time she refused to disclose the titles she wrote under these pseudonyms.
Her 1958 story The Planet Savers introduced the planet of Darkover, which became the setting of a popular series by Bradley and other authors. The Darkover milieu may be considered as either fantasy with science fiction overtones or as science fiction with fantasy overtones, as Darkover is a lost earth colony where psi powers developed to an unusual degree. Bradley wrote many Darkover novels by herself, but in her later years collaborated with other authors for publication; her literary collaborators have continued the series since her death.
Bradley took an active role in science-fiction and fantasy fandom, promoting interaction with professional authors and publishers and making several important contributions to the subculture.
For many years, Bradley actively encouraged Darkover fan fiction and reprinted some of it in commercial Darkover anthologies, continuing to encourage submissions from unpublished authors, but this ended after a dispute with a fan over an unpublished Darkover novel of Bradley's that had similarities to some of the fan's stories. As a result, the novel remained unpublished, and Bradley demanded the cessation of all Darkover fan fiction.
Bradley was also the editor of the long-running Sword and Sorceress anthology series, which encouraged submissions of fantasy stories featuring original and non-traditional heroines from young and upcoming authors. Although she particularly encouraged young female authors, she was not averse to including male authors in her anthologies. Mercedes Lackey was just one of many authors who first appeared in the anthologies. She also maintained a large family of writers at her home in Berkeley. Ms Bradley was editing the final Sword and Sorceress manuscript up until the week of her death in September of 1999.
Probably her most famous single novel is The Mists of Avalon. A retelling of the Camelot legend from the point of view of Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar, it grew into a series of books; like the Darkover series, the later novels are written with or by other authors and have continued to appear after Bradley's death.
In 2000, she was posthumously awarded the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
In 2014, Bradley was accused of sexual abuse by her daughter, Moira Greyland, who claims that she was molested from the age of 3 to 12. Greyland also claimed that she was not the only victim and that she was one of the people who reported her father, Walter H. Breen, for child molestation. In response to these allegations Bradley's publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd announced that they will donate all income from the sales of Bradley's e-books to the charity Save the Children.
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