978-0-00-224709-2 / 9780002247092

Priestess of Avalon


Publisher:Harper Collins



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About the book:

The last in the sequence of Avalon fantasies, Priestess of Avalon was completed after Bradley's death by Diana L. Paxson, her long-standing friend and collaborator. It's told from the viewpoint of Eilan, later known as Helena, born in 249AD to a priestess of Avalon, who dies in childbirth. She is sent to her Roman father, but returns to Avalon at age 10 to be initiated into the mysteries of the Goddess. When she falls in love with Constantius, a Roman, she leaves the sacred isle to become his consort, and bears a son who becomes Constantine the Great. Helena is a historical figure, but little is known of her life, and so the authors had considerable freedom in constructing this autobiography, linking her with the ancient wisdom of Avalon. During her long life, she travels the Roman Empire from Eburacum (York) to Rome, Greece and even Palestine. Her menfolk keep her away from the incessant wars, but her womanly life of hearth and home involves many important incidents, and as Christianity spreads across the Empire she struggles with the meaning of her own power as a servant of the Goddess. There are occasionally too many Roman names and too many political manoeuvrings to keep track of easily, but overall this is a strong and absorbing evocation of a world in flux, and the life of a strong woman within it. --Elizabeth Sourbut

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