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The Mists of Avalon [Anglais] [Broché]

Marion Zimmer Bradley
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

12 mai 1987
A Literary Guild Featured Alternate
Here is the magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne. A spellbinding novel, an extraordinary literary achievement, THE MISTS OF AVALON will stay with you for a long time to come....

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Descriptions du produit


Even in high summer, Tintagel was a haunted place; Igraine, Lady
of Duke Gorlois, looked out over the sea from the headland. As
she stared into the fogs and mists, she wondered how she would
ever know when the night and day were of equal length, so that
she could keep the Feast of the New Year. This year the spring
storms had been unusually violent; night and day the crash of
the sea had resounded over the castle until no man or woman
within could sleep, and even the hounds whimpered mournfully.

Tintagel . . . there were still those who believed the castle had been
raised, on the crags at the far end of the long causeway into the sea,
by the magic of the ancient folk of Ys. Duke Gorlois laughed at this and
said that if he had any of their magic, he would have used it to keep
the sea from encroaching, year by year, upon the shoreline. In the four
years since she had come here as Gorlois's bride, Igraine had seen land,
good land, crumble into the Cornish sea. Long arms of black rock, sharp
and craggy, extended into the ocean from the coast. When the sun shone,
it could be fair and brilliant, the sky and water as brilliant as the
jewels Gorlois had heaped on her on the day when she told him she bore
his first child. But Igraine had never liked wearing them. The jewel
which hung now at her throat had been given her in Avalon: a moonstone
which sometimes reflected the blue brilliance of sky and sea; but in the
fog, today, even the jewel looked shadowed.

In the fog, sounds carried a long way. It seemed to Igraine, as she
stood looking from the causeway back toward the mainland, that she could
hear footfalls of horses and mules, and the sound of voices-human
voices, here in isolated Tintagel, where nothing lived but goats and
sheep, and the herdsmen and their dogs, and the ladies of the castle
with a few serving women and a few old men to guard them.

Slowly, Igraine turned and went back toward the castle. As always,
standing in its shadow, she felt dwarfed by the loom of these ancient
stones at the end of the long causeway which stretched into the sea. The
herdsmen believed that the castle had been built by the Ancient Ones
from the lost lands of Lyonnesse and Ys; on a clear day, so the
fishermen said, their old castles could be seen far out under the water.
But to Igraine they looked like towers of rock, ancient mountains and
hills drowned by the ever encroaching sea that nibbled away, even now,
at the very crags below the castle. Here at the end of the world, where
the sea ate endlessly at the land, it was easy to believe in drowned
lands to the west; there were tales of a great fire mountain which had
exploded, far to the south, and engulfed a great land there. Igraine
never knew whether she believed those tales or not.

Yes; surely she could hear voices in the fog. It could not be savage
raiders from over the sea, or from the wild shores of Erin. The time was
long past when she needed to startle at a strange sound or a shadow. It
was not her husband, the Duke; he was far away to the North, fighting
Saxons at the side of Ambrosius Aurelianus, High King of Britain; he
would have sent word if he intended to return.

And she need not fear. If the riders were hostile, the guards and
soldiers in the fort at the landward end of the causeway, stationed
there by Duke Gorlois to guard his wife and child, would have stopped
them. It would take an army to cut through them. And who would send an
army against Tintagel?

There was a time-Igraine remembered without bitterness, moving slowly
into the castle yard-when she would have known who rode toward her
castle. The thought held little sadness, now. Since Morgaine's birth she
no longer even wept for her home. And Gorlois was kind to her. He had
soothed her through her early fear and hatred, had given her jewels and
beautiful things, trophies of war, had surrounded her with ladies to
wait upon her, and treated her always as his equal, except in councils
of war. She could have asked no more, unless she had married a man of
the Tribes. And in this she had been given no choice. A daughter of the
Holy Isle must do as was best for her people, whether it meant going to
death in sacrifice, or laying down her maidenhood in the Sacred
Marriage, or marrying where it was thought meet to cement alliances;
this Igraine had done, marrying a Romanized Duke of Cornwall, a citizen
who lived, even though Rome was gone from all of Britain, in Roman

She shrugged the cloak from her shoulders; inside the court it was
warmer, out of the biting wind. And there, as the fog swirled and
cleared, for a moment a figure stood before her, materialized out of the
fog and mist: her half-sister, Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, the Lady
of the Holy Isle.

"Sister!" The words wavered, and Igraine knew she had not cried them
aloud, but only whispered, her hands flying to her breast. "Do I truly
see you here?"

The face was reproachful, and the words seemed to blow away in the sound
of the wind beyond the walls.

Have you given up the Sight, Igraine? Of your free will?

Stung by the injustice of that, Igraine retorted, "It was you who
decreed that I must marry Gorlois . . ." but the form of her sister had
wavered into shadows, was not there, had never been there. Igraine
blinked; the brief apparition was gone. She pulled the cloak around her
body, for she was cold, ice cold; she knew the vision had drawn its
force from the warmth and life of her own body. She thought, I didn't
know I could still see in that way, I was sure I could not . . . and
then she shivered, knowing that Father Columba would consider this the
work of the Devil, and she should confess it to him. True, here at the
end of the world the priests were lax, but an unconfessed vision would
surely be treated as a thing unholy.

She frowned; why should she treat a visit from her own sister as the
work of the Devil? Father Columba could say what he wished; perhaps his
God was wiser than he was. Which, Igraine thought, suppressing a giggle,
would not be very difficult. Perhaps Father Columba had become a priest
of Christ because no college of Druids would have had a man so stupid
among their ranks. The Christ God seemed not to care whether a priest
was stupid or not, so long as he could mumble their mass, and read and
write a little. She, Igraine herself, had more clerkly skills than
Father Columba, and spoke better Latin when she wished. Igraine did not
think of herself as well educated; she had not had the hardihood to
study the deeper wisdom of the Old Religion, or to go into the Mysteries
any further than was absolutely necessary for a daughter of the Holy
Isle. Nevertheless, although she was ignorant in any Temple of the
Mysteries, she could pass among the Romanized barbarians as a
well-educated lady.

In the small room off the court where there was sun on fine days, her
younger sister, Morgause, thirteen years old and budding, wearing a
loose house robe of undyed wool and her old frowsy cloak about her
shoulders, was spinning listlessly with a drop spindle, taking up her
uneven yarn on a wobbly reel. On the floor by the fire, Morgaine was
rolling an old spindle around for a ball, watching the erratic patterns
the uneven cylinder made, knocking it this way and that with chubby

"Haven't I done enough spinning?" Morgause complained. "My fingers ache!
Why must I spin, spin, spin all the time, as if I were a waiting-woman?"

"Every lady must learn to spin," rebuked Igraine as she knew she ought
to do, "and your thread is a disgrace, now thick, now thin. . . . Your
fingers will lose their weariness as you accustom them to the work.
Aching fingers are a sign that you have been lazy, since they are not
hardened to their task." She took the reel and spindle from Morgause and
twirled it with careless ease; the uneven yarn, under her experienced
fingers, smoothed out into a thread of perfectly even thickness. "Look,
one could weave this yarn without snagging the shuttle . . ." and
suddenly she tired of behaving as she ought. "But you may put the
spindle away now; guests will be here before midafternoon."

Morgause stared at her. "I heard nothing," she said, "nor any rider with
a message!"

"That does not surprise me," Igraine said, "for there was no rider. It
was a Sending. Viviane is upon her way here, and the Merlin is with
her." She had not known that last until she said it. "So you may take
Morgaine to her nurse, and go and put on your holiday robe, the one dyed
with saffron."

Morgause put away the spindle with alacrity, but paused to stare at
Igraine. "My saffron gown? For my sister?"

Igraine corrected her, sharply. "Not for our sister, Morgause, but for
the Lady of the Holy Isle, and for the Messenger of the Gods."

Morgause looked down at the patterned floor. She was a tall, sturdy
girl, just beginning to lengthen and ripen into womanhood; her thick
hair was reddish like Igraine's own, and there were splotches of
freckles on her skin, no matter how carefully she soaked it in
buttermilk and begged the herbwife for washes and simples for it.
Already at thirteen she was as tall as Igraine, and someday would be
taller. She picked up Morgaine with an ill grace and carried her away.
Igraine called after her, "Tell Nurse to put a holiday gown on the
child, and then you may bring her down; Viviane has not seen her."

Morgause said something ill-tempered to the effect that she didn...

Revue de presse

"[A] monumental reimagining of the Arthurian legends . . . Reading it is a deeply moving and at times uncanny experience. . . . An impressive achievement."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Marion Zimmer Bradley has brilliantly and innovatively turned the myth inside out. . . . add[ing] a whole new dimension to our mythic history."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Gripping . . . Superbly realized . . . A worthy addition to almost a thousand years of Arthurian tradition."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer

From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 912 pages
  • Editeur : Ballantine Books; Édition : Reissue (12 mai 1987)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0345350499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345350497
  • Dimensions du produit: 9 x 10,9 x 1,5 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 35.436 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
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lands of Lyonnesse and Ys; on a clear day, so the fisherman said, their old castles could be seen far out under the water. But to Igraine they looked like towers of rock, ancient mountains and hills drowned by the ever encroaching sea that nibbled away, even now, at the very crags below the castle. Lire la première page
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Marion Zimmer Bradley shifts the focus of the greatest British legend, the tale of King Arthur, from the Christian male perspective, to that of the powerful, old religion led by women and centered in the Holy Isle of Avalon.
Morgan le Fay, or Morgaine, is a warm, enchanting and above all real, woman. She struggles with her dual role as wise-woman, powerful priestess and sister, mother, lover and wife in a growing Christian society. Having nothing against the Christ, only "his priests" who trample on the traditions and beliefs of the Old Religion, Morgaine battles to find her place in the center of the worlds at war.
Morgaine's brother, King Arthur, has struggles of his own, but it is through the eyes of the women in his life that the true undercurrent of power can be felt. Gwenhwyfar, his sorrowfully barren wife, plays her own role in the fate of Britain. As do Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, Igraine, mother to both Morgaine and Arthur, and the wicked Morgause, sister to Viviane and Igraine and perhaps the most intrinsically evil character in the story.
This story takes place in a time long gone, but definitely not forgotten. Through Morgaine, Viviane, and the other women of the Mists of Avalon, the Legend of Arthur and Camelot is now open to the hearts and souls of powerful, hopeful women for all eternity.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Mists of Avalon 11 août 2011
Par misaya
Je viens à peine de commencer ce roman mais je suis déjà plongée dedans du matin au soir ! C'est très bien écrit, facile à comprendre même sans un excellent niveau d'anglais (la preuve, je suis loin d'être une experte) et le fait d'avoir la légende arthurienne rapportée d'un autre point de vue (celui de femmes) lui donne une autre dimension.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un merveilleux conte de fées 30 septembre 2003
Par Montana
Un de mes livres préférés. Pour une fois, l'histoire se passe à travers les yeux des femmes. Une belle variation sur l'histoire du roi Arthur. C'est toujours avec beaucoup de plaisir que je le relis. C'est romantique, beau et très bien écrit. Vraiment un choix exceptionnel.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  1.056 commentaires
187 internautes sur 200 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Novel Take On A Classic Tale - Superb!! 23 avril 2004
Par Jana L. Perskie - Publié sur
Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon" is one of my favorite versions of the Arthurian legend. I first read the novel in the early 1990s, right after its publication. I reread it recently and was surprised at how much I enjoyed this extraordinary novel the second time around. I turned the pages more slowly and took more time to savor Ms. Bradley's excellent narrative and fresh version of the legendary saga of the rise and fall of Camelot. Her take on the classic characters gives them new depth and dimension. She tells her tale from a feminine perspective, and while the King and knights of Camelot dwell on war, battles and keeping their golden city and realm safe, along with focusing on chivalric honor, the women have different priorities and concerns.

The tale is told from the points of view of the much maligned Morgaine, (Morgana Le Fey), Priestess of Avalon and Gwenhwyfar, (Gwynivere), Christian princess and future queen of Camelot. Although most of the events of the traditional Arthurian legend are presented here, it is extremely interesting how the tale, told by men, changes when viewed through the eyes and experiences of a woman. This is also the important story of the political and religious conflict between the new Christianity and the "old ways" of goddess worship. Believers of each religion seek to control the throne, but ultimately Christianity ascends to be the organized religion of the land. Since Morgaine is a Druid High Priestess, it would explain why she received such a bad rap in Christian civilization. The reader also views other famous female characters from a different vantage point, including Igraine, Morgaine's and Arthur's mother,
Ms. Bradley follows Morgaine from childhood to Priestess in her home on the Isle of Avalon, the center of Druidism and goddess worship since the Roman occupation forced the religion underground, where it remained long after the Roman departure. Mists surround this mystical isle, protecting it and its inhabitants from all who do not have the psychic powers to penetrate the barrier. Morgaine has dedicated her life to preserving her ancient religion and tries to defend it against the growing numbers of her countrymen and the Camelot royalty who exchange the old ways for Christianity. She is also a very powerful person and struggles against the stereotypes which expect her to adhere to more traditional "feminine," (dependent), behavior and roles.
Bradley also follows the lovely Gwenhwyfar from the innocence of her girlhood to her rise as King Arthur's Christian Queen. She deeply fears Druid magic and her terror causes her to miscarry a long awaited baby. King Arthur's acquiescence to his wife's pleas to turn his back on the old ways and adopt Christianity is the beginning of the cataclysmic fall of his reign.
This is a most unique novel and Ms. Bradley's innovative fantasy version of Camelot, Britain during the Dark Ages, and the profound changes which took place in the land and among the people during this period had me riveted until I completed the last page. If you are open to a different take on a classic tale, then I highly recommend this wonderful novel.
65 internautes sur 69 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The definition of a good book! 16 mars 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur
I had forgotten my love for reading after going through so many books that didn't hold my attention. The Mists of Avalon reminded me of my love for a good book and got me hooked on Marion Zimmer Bradley. This book is a perfect blend of romance, action, magic and just plain creativity that binds you to the story and leaves you begging for more. This book tells the Arthurian legend through the eyes of the women around King Arthur's life. It tells the story of the strength of Morgain (his sister), Igraine (his mother) and Guenivere (his wife). It wonderfully portrays the bravery of these women in such a brutal time, without taking away the romance and insecurity's women feel. Beautiful book. Be sure to read the Forest House and Lady of the Lake also, which take place before The Mists of Avalon although Bradley wrote them afterward. I started with the Mists of Avalon and had no trouble at all. Marion Zimmer Bradley was a genious. I'm terribly gratefull to her for giving me something to refresh my mind.
71 internautes sur 76 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A man's point of view 17 juillet 2001
Par "garundel" - Publié sur
As I sense many of those who posted a review are women, I felt compelled to offer my thoughts.
A little preface: I read this book when I was in my early 30's. I am a college-educated professional, and a married heterosexual. I generally read non-fiction: political and military history and mountaineering literature. This book came up in a discussion with my wife, a published writer, who has read it several times and claimed it was one of her all-time favorites. As this is not slight praise from a woman who thinks Shakespeare was a lighweight compared to John Dunne, and actually argue the point!
So I picked up this book and read the first page. Quite a mistake. Three days later I finished this is not so small work having spent nearly every available non-working moment enthralled in this modern masterpiece. Simply put, it is very well written. It is a great story and it is well told. There is romance, fantasy, religion, war, politics, intrigue, and other elements to keep your attention.
I pity those who are so heavily invested in the "accuracy" of the Arthurian legend as to miss the beauty of this book. Doubly so for those who are too religiously dogmatic.
65 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 From the Feminine Point of View, Not Feminist 5 mars 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur
Many of Marion Zimmer Bradley's books are rather fluffy fantasies, fun and light. This is not the case with the mystical, magical "The Mists of Avalon." This spendid book is a retelling of the King Arthur legend from the point of view of the women involved, principally, Morgaine, King Arthur's half-sister and Priestess of Avalon, and Gwenhwyfar, the Christian princess and future Queen of Camelot.
Although "The Mists of Avalon" has been criticized as being a "feminist" book, I don't think this criticism holds up. Yes, the author chose to focus on the conflicts and emotions of the women involved, but their gender is far less important in the book than is their religion. Morgaine, as a Druid and Priestess of the Goddess, is struggling to keep her dying religion alive against the growth of Christianity and Gwenhwyfar.
The main character in "The Mists of Avalon" is Morgaine and we follow her from childhood to her rise as a priestess on the mystical Isle of Avalon, the home of the druids of the Old Religion, the religion of the Goddess. Avalon, as can be deduced from the book's title, is surrounded by swirling, protective mists that cause it to be invisibe to all but the initiated. Morgaine's life, down to its very core, is shaped both by her desire to serve the Goddess and by her despair at seeing the Old Religion being tossed aside in favor of Christianity, by royalty and the common people alike.
The book also focuses on Gwenhwyfar, and we are privy to her first meeting with Arthur when, as an innocent child, she crosses through the mists of Avalon to the other side. As Queen, she is a guilt-ridden figure who turns to Christianity in her desire to bear a child and begs Arthur to do the same, thus bringing about the fall of Camelot.
While I found Morgaine to be a character of depth, intelligence and tremendous emotional range, Gwenhyfar came off as shallow, jealous and more than a little suspicious. Viviane, The Lady of the Lake, who also plays quite a role in this book, seems to be a little too manipulative, but very interesting, nonetheless.
Anyone interested in Wiccan rituals will find this book extremely interesting. The transformations from ordinary woman to priestess and the effects of the Old Religion on the "modern" world are simply part and parcel of this book's magic.
This is a long book, but don't let its length put you off. It is an extremely fascinating and pleasant read and it's quite easy to find a stopping place should you need to put the book down (though I doubt you'll want to).
Those looking for historical accuracy regarding the rise of Christianity in Britain should look to another book. "The Mists of Avalon" is entertainment, pure and simple. The portrayal of Druidism and the focus on the priestesses of Avalon, descended from the lost island of Atlantis, the frequent visits to the land of the Fairy--all of this places this book squarely within the fantasy genre, rather than the historical realm. And, all to the good.
I found "The Mists of Avalon" to be an all-absorbing book and one that gave me a new perspective on the Arthurian legend. The women involved became more real to me, with many new facets and aspects of personality. I am so glad I read this book. I found it magical, mystical and unforgettable and it's one book I am recommending to everyone I know, whether they are fantasy addicts or not.
29 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A fresh perspective on a familiar tale 10 juin 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
I'm immensely amused by the readers who complained that this novel was "historically inaccurate" and "Arthurian Britain wasn't really like this." We don't know enough about the period, or the historical original of "Arthur," to make such claims (I have a Ph.D. in medieval literature and have researched the subject pretty thoroughly). Nor were Malory and his predecessors writing "history" in the sense we understand it; their versions are just as much a "fictionalization" of an earlier period as this is. Although the Arthurian myths (like other myths) reflect events and characters from an earlier time, they're primarily MYTHS, and every era (and every teller) has given them a different spin.
Bradley is a worthy addition to these ranks: she presents the familiar material from a fresh perspective, creates memorable characters and situations, and weaves an amazing amount of myth (as well as archeological and historical data) into a complex but generally well-thought-out and compelling story. One can find flaws in particular episodes or characters, but in general the book is an impressive achievement. And for those readers who complain that the characters are self-centered or have mixed motives -- well, isn't that the point, that although human beings' actions and perspectives may be deeply flawed, the Goddess sees that it all works out in the end? (I find Bradley's Lancelot considerably more credible than Tennyson's!)
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