6/01/2009

Happy Birthday Ellie Hall, Another Book















Happy Birthday Granny.
Ellie Hall Keasler Baer was my mother's mother. I am going to string together a bit about her which I will add as the day goes along or maybe it will take me days.

Another Book

The Mists of Avalon by Marilyn Zimmer Bradley

Once upon a time I was President of a small college of art and design which meant that I often went to meetings with others who were also trying to keep their institutions from floundering. These meetings were predominately male and sometimes intimidating. Often I yearned for a warm conversation about something that really mattered like the nearest needlepoint shop or a thrift store worth a bus ride instead of the banter about football or power tools.

At one such gathering in historic Charleston, SC I was seated at lunch next to a very friendly and interesting woman who kept yawning all through the meal. I assumed she too was an over worked administrator swimming upstream in academia. Until she explained, " Sorry for yawning. I did not sleep a wink. I became so engrossed on my "airplane" book that I stayed up all night to finish it."

That's what I call a real recommendation for a book so I asked for the title and did not rest until I found the book several days later in Charlotte, NC. I jumped into the first chapter hoping it was all she said - it was.

Marilyn Zimmer Bradley retells the Arthurian Legend from a woman's point of view as she recreates the goddess world of Avalon. The heroine is Morgan Le Fay, Arthur's half-sister. It was a fascinating and captivating story. When I finished Mists I was so glad to discover that Marilyn Zimmer Bradley had not wanted to leave this world either and had written two other books on either side of Mists - before and after.

Right now I am reading The Acts of King Arthur by John Steinbeck. He worked from the ancient British Mallory Manuscript to he tell the old tales. When he tells of the birth of Arthur and later as he tells the story of Arthur's relationship with Morgan he describes her as evil. I like Bradley's re-telling much better and I think I will re-read Mists when I finish Steinbeck's version of Arthur. Fortunately the book is waiting for me on a bookcase shelf downstairs when I am ready.