Caitlin Matthews,
King Arthur & the Goddess of the Land:
The Divine Feminine in the Mabinogion

(Inner Traditions, 2002)

The Mabinogion is a series of Welsh mythological tales, drawn from the oral tradition and written down sometime between 1100 and 1250 CE. Included therein are a series of early tales about King Arthur that show him in a somewhat different light than the much later courtly romances.

In King Arthur & the Goddess of the Land, Caitlin Matthews delves into the relationship between Arthur and the Goddess of Sovreignty in these early tales. She relates how most of the women in the tales -- Guinevere, Morgan, Elaine and Ragnell, to name but a few -- are representations of the goddess to whom Arthur owes his sacred kingship.

Taking each of the stories individually, Matthews first presents either the tale itself or a summary, then presents commentary on each point in the story. Following that, she provides her own interpretation, showing her long familiarity with Arthurian scholarship.

This book is wonderful and deeply researched, but it is not for the casual reader. This is a book for someone deeply interested in the Matter of Britain and its sources, and looking for a somewhat mystical interpretation of the stories.

- Rambles
written by Laurie Thayer
published 31 January 2004

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