Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.
"Myrddin shrugged. "A mistake. When a man is as strong as Arthur, he over-reaches himself sometimes. But your kinswoman Gwenhwyfar has tamed that wildness out of him. Her love of Christ has set him a good example. Arthur is God's strong man. Henceforward, he'll fight only Saxons. He would lead your war-band with honour and victory.""
Reframing Arthur as a blood-thirsty and self-interested tyrant more readily plundering and pillaging than the gallant Nobleman familiar from legend. Taking as its premise the idea that Arthur and indeed the populace at large needed a figurehead to believe in and to unify the country, Myrddin and Gwyna set about creating Arthur as a hero of the people, a leader of men and someone to look up to.
Acting as the puppet master to manipulate events to create a story and a character that will last and endure. Myrddin manufactures seminal moments in the Arthurian myth, like the Lady of the Lake, actually a servant coerced into handing Arthur a sword, piecing together a myth to motivate and inspire men, but one that is far removed from the mud and spilt blood of Mediaeval skirmishes and battles.