Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Red Tree - White Tree by Wendy Berg

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, Chr├ętien 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.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In Memoriam - and then some!

If Rebecca Wilby's play This Wretched Splendour was reckoned to have “knocked into a cocked hat” the so far established canon for first world war plays then her novel In Different Skies must go close to doing much the same demolition job in the literary sphere. As one who has seen both Cheltenham and London productions of the play, trod the Somme and Ypres battlefields along with her, and now been one of the first to read her remarkable novel – appropriately published on Armistice Day – I can vouch that it is with more than a father’s pride that I recommend them both as compelling, funny, moving, depictions of what war is all about at the sharp end. There is a fascinating esoteric theme running through as well. All of which goes to make it particularly relevant to what is going on in various places in the world today.

For more details or to make a purchase go to http://www.skylightpress.co.uk/ now!