I began to write this book after I had been handed a glass of red wine and a voice in my head said: “If you drink that, you’ll die.”
Such is the opening line of Wendy Berg’s seminal new book on the Faery tradition in the Arthurian and Grail legends: the beginning of a trail which led her to a complete re-evaluation of the powers behind the fellowship of the Round Table, and which, as it unfolds, throws a whole new perspective on some of Britain’s oldest and most enduring legends.
Red Tree, White Tree is no ordinary Arthurian or Fey commentary but rather a completely comprehensive and enchanting spiralling-back through history to its first annals and beyond. Wendy, co-author of Polarity Magic: The Secret History of Western Religion with Mike Harris, works admirably through what have been formerly disparate texts to find new connections and syntheses. Her skilled exegesis includes a webbing of biblical texts (both canonical and apocryphal), the Qabalah, the Mabinogion, the bardic traditions of Taliesin, Chrétien de Troyes, Robert de Boron, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Thomas Malory, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others, to make some extraordinary discoveries. This book will appeal to historians, literary scholars, mythological schemers, grail seekers, and esoteric practitioners alike.
In my view this is the most important and challenging book on Arthurian and Grail tradition for many a long year.
Red Tree, White Tree, priced £12.99, is available from Amazon and all the usual retailers, and can also be ordered direct from Skylight Press.