Reading Notes: Faerie Queen, Part A

I’m not gonna lie, I was quite disappointed when I saw that there was no Celtic mythology about the gods and goddess, only fairy and folk tales. I’d love to know more about the pantheon from my ancestry. But I figured the Faerie Queen would be some interesting mythology.

I don’t regret this choice. Britomart is a total badass and a feminist hero in a world where feminism was not a thing.

The Lady of Delight in the Castle Joyous (Malecasta) is an interesting character too. She knows what she wants and she knows what she’s got. She begs Britomart to “lay aside her armor and enjoy some sport,” how naughty! Although Britomart responds with some slut shaming so that’s a bummer. But hey, she’s a knight after all. Oh wow, then Malecasta attempts to rape Britomart and she has to fend off her and her six knights! Crazy.

I honestly forgot how much I used to love medieval stories of princesses, knights and dragons.

Bibliography: Stories from the Faerie Queene by Mary Macleod, with drawings by A. G. Walker (1916).

Featured image: Britomart

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1 Comment

  1. Alas, Cate, you can (mostly) blame the monks and other Christian writers who recorded for us the old Celtic stories. They could cope with epic, they could cope with folktales, but gods and goddesses are trickier. Luckily the Greeks got to tell their own stories in writing, as did other ancient peoples. There is indirect material for the study of Celtic gods and goddesses, but it’s hard to come up with actual stories since we are relying on Christian sources. It’s even worse for the Slavic gods and goddesses; we barely even know their names…

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