Women of Camelot: Queens and Enchantresses at the Court of King Arthur

Women of Camelot: Queens and Enchantresses at the Court of King Arthur

by Mary Hoffman, Christina Balit
     
 

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These intriguing stories retell the English legend of Camelot through the eyes of the influential queens, passionate wives, and powerful sorceresses who shaped the fate of King Arthur's court.

Influential queens, passionate wives, and powerful sorceresses, the women who play key roles in the tales about England's legendary King Arthur and his knights of the Round

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Overview

These intriguing stories retell the English legend of Camelot through the eyes of the influential queens, passionate wives, and powerful sorceresses who shaped the fate of King Arthur's court.

Influential queens, passionate wives, and powerful sorceresses, the women who play key roles in the tales about England's legendary King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table are not mere "damsels in distress." Determined and resourceful, they affect the saga of Camelot through love, hate, intrigue, enchantment, and tradgedy as one by one their voices come swirling out of the mists of time to tell their stories. They are:

Igrayne, Welsh mother of magic and of the once and future king Arthur

Guinevere, wife of Arthur, who wed him for political reasons and tries to escape from her unhappy marriage through a life long passion for Sir Lancelot

Nimue, the mysterious Lady of the Lake and loyal guardian of Arthur, who causes the downfall of Merlin the magician

Lyonet, a bad-tempered lady who mistreats Gareth, the courageous kitchen boy chosen to be her sister's hero

Morgan le Fay, a powerful enchantress who, because of her hatred for her half brother Arthur, tries repeatedly to destroy this celebrated king

Ragnell, the "loathsome lady," a beautiful woman accursed by a hideous spell

Elaine of Corbenic, a tenacious maid who tricks Sir Lancelot into loving her, and whose son Galahad succeeds, where all others fail, in his quest for the Holy Grail

Mary Hoffman's potent stories, in a clear, contemporary voice, and Christina Balit's vivid illustrations add up to an enchanting book for today's readers.

Other Details: 48 full-color illustrations 72 pages 9 x 9"

Author Biography: Mary Hoffman has written more than 70 books for children, including Amazing Grace, and is the editor of Armadillo, a quarterly children's book review. She lives in London. Christina Balit studied at the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London before becoming a prize-winning illustrator. She lives in Kent, England.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Hoffman (author of Amazing Grace) retells familiar tales of the Round Table in the voices of its women, including Igrayne (Arthur's mother), Guinevere (his queen), Nimue (The Lady of the Lake), Elaine, Ragnell and others. These are tales of passion, enchantment, intrigue, trickery, betrayal, revenge and ultimately, tragedy. Kings and knights disguise themselves to make love to women, and lovesick women use trickery to lure kings and knights to their beds. Men who love each other kill each other for honor and for power, and powerful enchantments often determine outcomes. If there is a flaw in this book it is that the voices of the various women tend to sound much the same, which is perhaps inevitable since they are all from the same class, place and time. Balit's jewel-toned, Art Nouveau-like illustrations capture the beauty and the passion of the characters through sinuous lines and flowing hair. A family tree and an annotated list of the characters help keep the tangled relationships straight, and there is a note on sources. Used in conjunction with any of the other Arthurian tales, these stories will provide an opportunity to explore point of view and narrative voice. 2000, Abbeville Press, . Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Linnea Hendrickson

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781422352601
Publisher:
DIANE Publishing Company
Publication date:
07/28/2006
Pages:
69
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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