robyn's Reviews > Lancelot and the Lord of the Distant Isles: Or, the Book of Galehaut Retold

Lancelot and the Lord of the Distant Isles by Patricia Terry
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

it was ok
bookshelves: mythopoeia

Interesting for the material on Galehaut, who really does seem to have been written out of the legend. And a beautifully produced book, in hardcover at least. But you won't find Arthur being particularly noble or Guinevere being particularly queenly ... no one seems quite like themselves, even Lancelot.

So I'd have to say that I prefer the Arthurian legend in the shape it's taken through natural selection, as it were - people kept the bits they liked and were interested in. Just not that interested in the Galehaut/Lancelot dynamic when you've got Arthur/Morgan, Arthur/Guinevere/Lance, Arthur/Mordred, etc etc.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Lancelot and the Lord of the Distant Isles.
Sign In »

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Raymond (last edited Apr 02, 2015 08:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Raymond Scott It is based on Lancelot Proper which was written in the 13th Century. It was a book that put emphasis on Lancelot's origins,his rise to knightly prominence,and his love affair with Guinevere. It was a book about courtly love and secular chivalry. The Grail Story then took away the emphasis on the courtly love and secular chivalry and put a lot of emphasis on the spiritual chivalry. Lancelot Proper, the Grail Story, and the Death of Arthur became known as the Lancelot-Grail Cycle aka Vulgate Cycle. Then later on, much of the Lancelot Proper was removed and much of Prose Tristan and other stuff was added, and it became known as the Post-Vulgate. Much of Thomas Mallory's Le Morte D'Arthur is based on the Post-Vulgate Cycle. Of course, much of what is written about Arthurian Legends today is based on Le Morte D'Arthur. In the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, the love between Lancelot and Guinevere was a big important part. It was presented in a positive way in the Lancelot Proper. Lancelot performed great deeds of arms and became the greatest knight in the world as the result of his love for Guinevere. It really was a story about courtly love.

Raymond Scott I believe that the Lancelot-Galahaut relationship was important to know. It was Galahaut that made it possible for Lancelot and Guinevere to come together in love. It was a love pact. Lancelot's foster mother, Ninianne also supported Lancelot and Guinevere's relationship and encouraged Guinevere to consummate her love with Lancelot. Ninianne even told Guinevere that she loves her for the sake of Lancelot. Guinevere loved Ninianne for all she has done for Lancelot. It's all in the Lancelot Proper.

robyn Your appreciation of the story is coming from a scholarly place, I think, and is better informed than mine. And I'd have to re-read Galahaut to remember the details, at this point. Speaking sheerly as someone who reads for enjoyment and picked this book up out of curiosity, I just didn't enjoy this book that much.

If I'm going to be completely honest, my favorite telling of the whole story is T.H. White's, which is probably several large steps to the side from the source material you're talking about. But it's so much fun to read.

Raymond Scott I appreciate from more than just a scholarly place. Lancelot has been my favorite Arthurian Legend character since childhood. After reading the Vulgate Cycle material, I even like the character even more. I like that there was more written about the otherworldly Lady of the Lake's involvement with her foster son, Lancelot which is sorely missing from Mallory and other writings based on that. Before I read the Vulgate Cycle material, I never read anything that showed that the Lady of the Lake kept in touch with her son after she presented him to King Arthur's court to be knighted. I also feel that the Vulgate Cycle gives a lot more insight into Lancelot and Guinevere's relationship.

Raymond Scott The story was definitely about a boy becoming a man through his love for an older woman.

back to top