Joe R. Christopher, Tarleton State
“The Negative Quest of Bradamant”
professor emeritus, pub. Full-length critical works on Tolkien and Lewis
title “On Bradamant’s Mind Quests”
in 2011 Bradamant’s Quest published
want to discuss first 4 quests
Bradamant 1st appears in Italian Charlemagne romances
In Burman’s revision, Bradamant is granddaughter of Charlemagne through mother.
Woman warrior. Widowed. Has a son, adult in medieval terms.
Burman wants to focus on Bradamant.
Temporal setting = after battle in which Roland (and her husband) died
In history was Basques, in myth was Spanish Moors.
Period of mourning over when novel begins.
King wants Renald (his grandson). Bradamant says she will go get him. Heads to her brother’s castle.
Oberon appears to her as she is watering her horse.
Oberon says world grows old and further from “us” (creatures and fairy). Says fairy gifts need to be returned. The gifts are failing in the human world and thereby weakening fairy.
Bradamant’s family were given gifts.
8 magical objects and 1 magical creature
How can Burman repeat a pattern 9x and not make it boring and/or amusing?
1st 4 quests show variety…
4 chapters are good models for what follows.
5- Oberon climbs out of well to take shield.
8- horn’s voice is heard, telling to give to raven
6- lamina takes Roland’s sword with him thru magic portal
9- Maugus’ book and Maugus are carried off by tree woman—kind of an Ent (not an Ent-wife)
10- book, fairy who gave book shows back up to take it, and A sends hippogriff off with this fairy b/c hippogriff dying
7- Ogre’s Mood?
On hippogriff Bradamant is blown off course.
Adds to variety in book.
Variety and shifting detail work.