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Ladies of the Lake [Paperback]

John Matthews , Caitlín Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

2 Dec 1996

This portrayal of nine of the women in Arthurian legend: Igraine, Guinevere and Morgan, who are Arthur’s kindred: Argante, Nimue and Enid who bring the wisdom of the other world: and Kundry, Dividraine and Ragnell who manifest the compassion of the Grail. The Ancient Celtic Goddess is fragmented and reflected in these women.

This is an exciting exploration of a complex mythology. In addition there are guided visualizations on each of the wise women.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons; (Reissue) edition (2 Dec 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855380455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855380455
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

'Ladies of the Lake' portrays nine of the women in Arthurian legend: Igraine, Guinevere and Morgan, who are Arthur's kindred; Argante, Nimue and Enid, who bring the wisdom of the otherworld; and Kundry, Dindraine and Ragnell, who manifest the compassion of the Grail. These are the Ladies of the Lake in whom the ancient Celtic Goddess is fragmented and reflected. Just as Arthur's Knights assemble about the Round Table to discover their quest, so the Arthurian Ladies gather about the deep waters of the Lake to draw upon their innate gifts. And just as the mysterious element of water permeates all life, so the influence of the Ladies of the Lake permeates the whole Arthurian legend. They are the empowerers, guardians and transformers whose wisdom is still accessible today.

This exhilarating exploration provides authentic textual background to a complex mythology. In addition, there are guided visualisations for each of the Ladies which will open pathways to readers on their own personal quest.

'Highly recommended!!'

Caitlin and John Matthews are the authors of over 60 books, many of which explore the Arthurian world and the spiritual dimension of the goddess. Their titles include John's 'Taliesen: Shamanism and the Bardic Mysteries in Britain and Ireland 'andCaitlin's 'Sophia: Goddess of wisdom.' They are co-authors of 'The Arthurian Tarot.'

About the Author

Caitlin and John Matthews are the authors of over 40 books, many of which explore The Arthurian and Celtic traditions. Both authors lecture on these subjects throughout the world.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Come meet the Ladies of the Lake 14 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Presents the women in the Grail legends in a very interesting way, full of insight for this legends, that are primarily male to be applied to women.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Perspective on a Tired Story 5 Dec 2001
By Athelia Nihtscada - Published on
I have always had an interest in mythology and Arthurian legend and have found that few books really touch on the individual personalities or archetypes of the women of Arthurian legend beyond the usual over dramatized stereotypes of "Morgan = Evil sorceress, or confused seeker", "Morgause = "Malignant Manipulator, Power-monger", "Guenevere = Insecure Harlot".
"Ladies of the Lake" give these women back the power taken from them by traditional legend and modern retellings and allows the reader to see them in a richly spiritual and human light. I found that like book "The Goddess in Everywoman", each "lady" carries attributes that most women can relate to in some form or another. There are 9 attributes examined:
1. Energizer
2. Measurer
3. Protector
4. Initiator
5. Challenger
6. Deliverer
7. Weaver
8. Preserver
9. Empowerer
I for one am pleased to see a book such as this that gives a fresh look at women who have been underrated in many tellings of Arthurian legend. While many books will touch upon the aspects and strengths of each of Arthur's many knights, this book gives the same, long awaited look at the women of the legends. I love many of the retellings of the Arthurian legends, such as the "Mists of Avalon" and subsequent books in the series by Marion Zimmer bradley and this book seems to give a lot more insight into the personalities and spiritual arttributes behind the traditional ladies.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in Arthurian Legend or who want to know more about the women of the Arthurian legend from a unique perspective.
62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The gals of Camelot come into their own 18 April 1998
By Casca - Published on
Most re-tellings of the Arthurian legends have focused on the men, giving the women a subordinate role.All this changed with Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel The Mists of Avalon (1982) which emphasized the role of women.Ladies of the Lake is about nine key women from the Arthurian tradition.Not active on the outer or physical level like the men, these women are powerful and active on the inner levels.Each one represents archetypal powers from Celtic tradition.There is Igraine, Guinevere, Morgan and Nimue, to name a few.There is a visualization exercise for each one, allowing the reader to access their power and purpose.I find these visualizations very helpful in accessing the inner worlds of Celtic tradition.This book takes us deeper into the Arthurian legends, and I recommend it highly.
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Goddesses Behind the Legends 8 April 2000
By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) - Published on
This book is wonderful! The authors take stories of influential women fromthe Arthurian legends and frame their tales in the context of the Goddess mythology that lies behind the legends. They explain how each Lady of the Lake is actually a disguised version of a Goddess archetype, thinly veiled by later patriarchal tradition. Wonderful for anyone who loves mythology. Also includes guided visualizations dealing with the women, which explore the reader's own psyche as well as the archetypes. I devoured it.
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly good and useful 29 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on
I am not at all a fan of Bradley's Avalon books, finding them exploitative at best, and I am not usually a follower of the scholarship of John and Caitlin Matthews, finding their slant normally too esoteric and new-agey to be a source of useful information about Arthurian matters. However, I picked up this book recently after consciously avoiding it for years, and was very pleasantly surprised: if you gloss over the "goddess archetype" premise, and simply read the different sections, you will find some interesting, useful, well-researched, well-presented information regarding some potential roots of each character they address. The Matthewses shouldn't be the only scholars you follow - the works of Geoffrey Ashe, Norris Lacy, Roger Sherman Loomis, Jean Markale, Ronan Coghlan, and many others are useful and valid for those interested in the topic - but you could do a lot worse than to add "Ladies of the Lake" to your armory of Arthurian knowledge.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like the Grail, a treasure worth the quest 26 Jun 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like the Grail, the reward this book offers is apparently not available to all, judging from the variation of reviews. Personally, I found the painstaking research and revelation of parallels between various historical sources enlightening in the extreme. Through the work of John and Caitlin Mathews, the reconstruction of truths long lost to us comes to us as a precious gift. If ever there were a literary representation of "racial memory," this book must have at least a strong claim on this title.
I have been fascinated by Arthurian legend since my youth, but have never appreciated it before as I do now as a consequence of reading this wonderful work. If you can apply your intellect and your spirit in synergy and not in conflict, I suggest that you might find as much treasure in this book as I have.
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