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Mother of the Korrigans

Mother of Korrigans

The most commonly found supernatural creatures in the folklore of Brittany are the korrigans; a race of capricious magical dwarves who live underground surrounded by vast wealth and who venture out at night to play cruel tricks upon the race of humans that robbed them of their ancient, scared lands. Some tales claim that korrigans share the same roots as fairies, some that they are the descendants of the giant first men of Brittany and others that they are tormented souls, condemned to wander the lonely moors at night.

However, one Breton tale ascribes the origins of the magical korrigans to a most powerful enchantress named Koridwen, wife to Hu-Ar-Braz, the first of the druids, with whom she bore three children. In addition to their first born, a son named Mor-Vrau, they had a daughter, Kreiz-Viou, who was reputed to be the most beautiful girl in the world and another son, Avrank-Du, sadly said to have been the most hideous of beings.

Koridwen - Ceridwen - Brittany - Korrigans

Consumed with motherly tenderness, Koridwen desired something special for her youngest child; a unique gift that would set him apart from others as surely as his horrible countenance was destined to do. She therefore resolved to imbue him with knowledge and wisdom by making him drink the Water of Divination; a magical concoction that took a whole year of boiling to bind together properly. To maintain the fire and constantly stir the bubbling potion, the enchantress entrusted the custody of her iron cauldron to a blind man named Morda and to a dwarf called Gwiou.

The year of careful, patient labour was about to expire, when, with the two overseers having slackened their zeal, a little of the precious brew was spilled and three small drops fell on to the finger of the dwarf, who, bringing it to his mouth, suddenly knew the vast secrets of the future. Immediately, the hot cauldron shattered into hundreds of pieces and their angry mistress suddenly materialised before them. An irate Koridwen rushed at Gwiou but the dwarf had already taken to the wind on her first appearance.

Koridwen - Ceridwen - Brittany - Korrigans

As fast as he ran, Gwiou could sense Koridwen was hard on his heels and almost close enough to grasp him. As he was about to be caught, he transformed into a hare and instantly ran across the open country so much faster. However, within the blinking of an eye, the enchantress had become a greyhound and sprang up behind him once more. Approaching the bank of a river, Koridwen was about to grab him when he suddenly assumed the form of a fish and dived into the fast-flowing water.

No sooner had Gwiou sped away with the current than a large otter unexpectedly appeared which pursued him so closely that he could only escape by becoming a bird. Soaring through the grey sky, Gwiou flew as hard as he could but he soon espied a great hawk bearing down on him from above with its wings outstretched and its sharp beak open in attack. Quivering with fear, the tired dwarf turned from a flying bird into a single grain of wheat and allowed himself to slowly fall upon a large heap of wheat that he had noticed piled-up on the ground below.

Koridwen - Ceridwen - Brittany - Korrigans

Suddenly, a big black hen came scurrying along and began scratching at the wheat, pecking at the grains. Thus was Gwiou consumed and Koridwen avenged. However, her revenge was not absolute; for the grain of wheat that was Gwiou grew inside her and nine months later Koridwen bore another son. Unamused at the appearance of Koridwen’s baby, Hu is said to have taken the child in its wicker cradle and abandoned it to the waters of the sea. Providence seems to have had other designs for the boy as he was saved from the clutches of the waves by Elffin, son of King Gouydno, and grew to become an enchanter; spirit of the moor and shore, the Korrigan. It was thus from Koridwen that all the magical dwarves and fairies of Brittany were descended.

Those with an interest in Celtic mythology will note the striking resemblance between this tale and parts of that known as Hanes Taliesin; an account of the life of the 6th century British bard Taliesin, featuring his legendary birth and the acquisition of his marvellous gift of vision. A work that was composed by Elis Gruffydd, a Welsh soldier and administrator, during the mid-16th century in Calais, then a continental enclave of the King of England.

Koridwen - Ceridwen - Brittany - Korrigans

In Gruffydd’s account, the rescued boy is named Taliesin on account of his radiant forehead and is immediately able to craft and recite wonderful poetry. He subsequently uses his unique gift to thwart the machinations of those who seek to bring down Elffin and even unearths a cauldron full of gold as a reward for Elffin having saved and adopted him. The young bard was also famed for his poetry recounting the earliest history of mankind and his prophesies of the history yet to come.

It is these mystical qualities that have made Taliesin such a mysterious figure in the early history of Britain. His legendary status as chief of the bards and poets likely derived from his having been the leading bard at the courts of three British kings but his renown saw later generations attribute him with poems and prophecies that he is most unlikely to have written. Perhaps there was a talented poet active in the 10th or 11th centuries who also was known by the pen-name of Taliesin? The work of two, or more, distinct authors having become confused by the early 14th century when one of the oldest collections of Welsh poems were assembled in the manuscript known as the Book of Taliesin.

Koridwen - Ceridwen - Brittany - Korrigans

In the epic tale of Culhwch ac Olwen, found in the 14th century Red Book of Hergest, although the text itself is believed to be several hundred years older, Taliesin is described as a bard to King Arthur. However, the same book contains a tale of the legendary giant Brân the Blessed, high king of Britain, and his military expedition to Ireland; an enterprise from which only seven men survived, one of whom being Taliesin.

Confusion regarding the historical Taliesin is also compounded by him sometimes having been likened to and even conflated with the sage Myrddin, known in English as the enchanter Merlin. The 13th century Black Book of Carmarthen contains a lengthy poem known as The Discourse of Merlin and Taliesin likely written centuries before the book was compiled; a connection that never seems to have lost its popular lustre as the 19th century poet Alfred Tennyson incorporated both characters in his Idylls of the King, so too, Bernard Cornwell in his Warlord Chronicles written at the turn of this century.

Koridwen - Ceridwen - Brittany - Korrigans

Interestingly, the story of Taliesin was also well known in Brittany and from an early date; a history of Brittany written in the 14th century, known as the Chronicle of Saint-Brieuc, contains a hagiography of Saint Iud-Hael or Judicael, king of Dumnonia in northern Brittany, that was compiled in the early 11th century. This tells us that, around 570AD, the monastery of Saint Gildas in southern Brittany was host to: “a certain overseas traveller and exile for religion, namely Taliesin the bard, son of Dôn, a prophet who had great foresight through the interpretation of portents; one who with wondrous eloquence, proclaimed in prophetic utterances the lucky and unlucky lives of lucky and unlucky men.”

Other versions of the tale of Koridwen and the dwarf Gwiou are known in Brittany; one accords almost completely with the account given in Hanes Taliesin, while others contain some subtle differences. For instance, in one story Koridwen is described as a companion, rather than wife, of the god Hu-Kadarn. As well as being father of all druids and bards, Hu was described as saviour of the earth, teacher of agriculture, founder of justice and the great institutions of humanity, conqueror of giants and the protector in the darkness. Interestingly, both of Hu’s known epithets carry the meaning of strong or resolute, so, perhaps the only noteworthy difference is that Hu is described as a god; a deification also accorded to Koridwen in another version of the tale, while some 19th century versions seem to endow her with the title of The White Fairy.

Koridwen - Ceridwen - Brittany - Korrigans

Recovering a coherent history of Koridwen is virtually impossible today as there is so little early source material from which to form a robust estimation. She is called Kyrridven in the Black Book of Carmarthen and seems to be regarded as the patron goddess of bards, thanks to her Cauldron of Inspiration and its magical ability to disperse awen; a quality perhaps best described as spiritual inspiration or profound poetic muse. The notion that the greatest bards were deeply inspired poets and divinely endowed seers was an important part of Celtic tradition and was even still attested in the late 12th century by the historian Gerald of Wales who noted that: “these gifts are usually conferred upon them in dreams: some seem to have sweet milk or honey poured on their lips.”

Lady Charlotte Guest, in the notes to her edition of the collection of medieval Welsh tales now known as The Mabinogion (1845), boldly states that: “Caridwen is generally considered to be the Goddess of Nature of Welsh mythology” but offers little to substantiate such a claim other than her role in the birth of Taliesin and the few references to her in other medieval poems. Today, many people now regard her as some sort of primordial Earth Mother while others believe her to be the ancient British goddess of fertility and death or even resurrection.

Koridwen - Ceridwen - Brittany - Korrigans

The etymology of Koridwen’s name is of little help in understanding her earliest origins as the spelling of it, in Breton and Welsh, has changed several times over the last 800 years. Some authors have suggested derivations such as ‘crooked woman’, ‘blessed poetry’ or ‘fair poet’. It has even been suggested that her name is actually derived from the notoriously poisonous plant, hemlock. Breton authors have long focussed on the fact that korr is the Breton word for the magical little folk of the region and have thus taken Koridwen’s name to mean ‘white fairy’.

Perhaps Koridwen’s real virtue was her magical cauldron which is variously noted as the Cauldron of Inspiration and Science or as the Cauldron of Divination? A Breton version of the birth of Taliesin tells that Koridwen only prepared the Water of Divination after having sought guidance in the temple of ‘The Just One’; a wonderfully mystical phrase but one that is, sadly, not expanded upon. Into the brazen cauldron, surrounded by the pearls of the sea, she is said to have cast six most efficacious plants.

Koridwen - Ceridwen - Brittany - Korrigans

The Breton writer, Théodore de La Villemarqué in his Barzaz Breiz (1839), suggests that these virtuous plants were the magical, and elusive, golden grass, together with henbane, brookweed, verbena, primrose and clover. A magical sextet endorsed by Henri Martin in his Histoire de France (1861) and, more authoritatively, by Victor Duruy in his Histoire des Romains (1879). La Villemarqué claims that the magic potion produced was known as “the water of Gwion” and in highlighting this version of Gwiou’s name attempts, unconvincingly, to link this to the island of Gwion or Alwion – Albion; the name used by the Ancient Greeks for the island of Britain.

Given their likely importance in Celtic ritual, it is perhaps unsurprising that magical cauldrons are not an uncommon trope in the old Welsh legends; for instance, the cauldron of Pwyll, chief of Annwfyn, was said to have dispersed poetry when breathed upon by nine maidens but refused to boil the meat of a coward. There were also a few cauldrons that were renowned for their ability to return the dead to life, such as that once owned by Brân the Blessed that had the power to resurrect dead warriors even if they were reborn deaf and dumb. Magical cauldrons are not unique to Welsh mythology being also found in old Irish and Norse legends.

Koridwen - Ceridwen - Brittany - Korrigans

Whether magical korrigan or mystical bard, the story of Koridwen’s charmed offspring fits into a broader pattern of tales that highlight the marvellous origins of certain, special people. Such characters were not confined to the mythologies of Ancient Greece or Rome but were also found in medieval legends such as that relating to the conception of King Arthur or to those early Breton saints who crossed the ocean on rocks or leaves. These fantastic backstories served only to enhance their distinctiveness and to underscore the special status accorded to them. Embellishments that were likely unneeded but certainly helped to forge an unforgettable story.


Published by Bon Repos Gites

Enjoying life in Kalon Breizh - the Heart of Brittany.

135 thoughts on “Mother of the Korrigans

  1. More Augmented Reality 😉 That term has grabbed my imagination, somehow, and it (my imagination) often augments reality. It would be wonderful to find the “ur” story. These are fascinating in their similarities and the archetypes of that amazing woman and the magic cauldron, the idea of compensating ugliness with wisdom and prescience. Thank you for such a fascinating post!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ha yes, now we have reality, damned reality and augmented reality! 🙄
      I am pleased that you found this of interest! 🙂 Like you, I found more questions than answers the more I thought about things! 😉 The idea of compensating ugliness with wisdom is a wonderful one and similar, in many ways, to the choices korrigans would often offer greedy humans – wealth or beauty! Needless, to say which one was invariably chosen! 🙄

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Gorgeous paintings to accompany the legends. I am wondering how the Church dealt with these stories and the idea of Koridwen being the Great Mother. I once baby sat a cat that was called Taliesin. I suspect he was named for this legendary figure. He was a fine black cat. Great post. Thank you!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I was unaware of the existence of korrigans until I read this informative post. I think the images you select to accompany the text are always fascinating but the illustrations this week are truly stunning. I love them 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you very much!! I appreciate you having taken the time to read it and am glad that you liked it! 🙂
      Most of these paintings are by Evelyn de Morgan who is, for me, one of the best artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement!


  4. Such bright colorful legends and tales…

    I loved the chase lol … only to be eaten as grain, and then impregnate 😮

    Crazy! But if gonna have fairies 🧚‍♀️ are wonderful tales of how they came to be

    Leprechauns have cauldrons of gold at end of rainbows 🌈 💚😘

    The story on that I know is … there was this farm of very poor farmers in Ireland … when they tended their crops and pulled their last carrot 🥕 …

    A leprechaun dangled from its roots … when they caught him – he promised them one wish… but they could not agree and named many wishes …

    The leprechaun was disappointed in their greed and so he told them they could have anything they desire if they could find his pot of gold at the end of a rainbow 🌈 🥘

    He winked and left the farmers searching for that pot of gold

    Most of the stories or tales, that were told to me, had moral lessons 🙄

    But is good – they stick lol 😘✌️

    The moral lesson in that is relying on magic and luck and having greed …is not as good as hard work and building a life – you waste your time chasing a pot of gold 😘

    Funny how those little stories from long ago still maybe have some impact today 😉

    The stories and tales do capture imagination and are so interesting to learn 😊❤️👏

    Since it’s March – I’ll mention St Patrick 💚😘… who led all the snakes out of Ireland – I hear they have no snakes 🐍 😮

    The little tales explain things with a magical flair ❤️ I really love the magic they felt ❤️

    Sometimes little ominous but … I love the magical tales and explanations they say ❤️

    Is curious to think how much is truth and how much is embellished or taken liberty of making story imaginative? Or even adding morals? 🧐

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha yes, that is exactly right – if you are going to have fairy legends then let then be outlandish! 😁

      Your leprechaun legend is one that is found wherever stories of fairies and little folk were heard, so, it must have been a quite universal and cross-cultural message – greed is not good! Something, many have forgotten today! 🙄

      St Patrick ridding the land of snakes is a very well-known legend and it is quite surprising how many other, lesser known, saints were also reputed to have done the same in other places. I guess the early hagiographers liked the idea of equating snakes with evil and ungodliness. Perhaps the very earliest stories were of dragons rather than snakes? 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol … absolutely!! But wonderful stories to explain how everything came to be, or how it all went away 😉

        Yes I remember fairies stories around the leprechaun stories 🍀

        We had Aos sí and banshees lol

        Yes greed is a thing today – no one listened to the morals 🤨🙄

        Well it was a snake who tempted Eve… and a snake sits at the Virgin Mary’s feet 👣

        Death destruction and evil – temptation & deceit – the devil himself ✌️ 🐍

        It is a catholic representation lol

        Not to mention their bites hurt and they can kill you!!

        I do not like snakes myself lol ✌️

        Funny how religion probably seeped into legends here and there lol 😘

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That is very true!! One day, we will learn .. hopefully! 🙏🙏

        Ha, yes, we have a few statues in churches here that depict the Virgin trampling on a snake or dragon.

        I guess it is only natural that so much of our folklore is seeped with religious morality or images. For centuries, it dominated all aspects of people’s daily lives. What is kinda remarkable is how – relatively – quickly is receded and virtually within living memory! 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah maybe people learn? ⁉️

        Mary conquered the devil and crushed his head … for told by god… undoing the evils from the garden of Eden 😘

        Ahhh to be catholic lol 😘

        Lol… yes… I would have to say that is because people do not like to be controlled

        Not to mention all the scandals and things 🤨

        It did dominate people and in some areas still does.

        That’s ok though … I’m fine with the knowledge and memories – have good moral foundation I suppose

        But I do not want the severity of which it was – so yeah … no one wants to be controlled by whatever person or thing.

        Also … if gonna preach things – make sure you also follow those things lol … I remember them telling me how to be and then I see them doing opposite lol

        You can not do that lol

        So yeah they lost their footing with their control 😘

        Also there is science lol

        I do love when science finds clues regarding certain bible stories ❤️👏

        Liked by 2 people

      4. And that is surely the biggest problem with organised religion – it is, or was, controlled by man and, as we all know, man has a nasty habit of becoming corrupted! Well, some do but a few hypocrites can, sadly, rot the barrel for a very long time. 😔

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Another fascinating article. I had heard of the korrigans but not about how they dealt with foolish or greedy humans. I do love the decision between wealth and beauty…..I suppose it speaks to one’s character which one you chose. 😄 Evelyn de Morgan is such a marvelous artist. I think only John William Waterhouse is her equal in depicting mythological creatures in the pre-Raphaelite tradition. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Amazing how other nations adopt and change the myths and legends to suit their population and beliefs. I do wonder if some of these may have been embraced by the church to help keep their believers in line. Thanks for another interesting post. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is a very good point Allan! I am sure that many tales were adapted by churchmen and local legends slowly altered to suit official Church dogma. When we go back to the earliest known examples of some legends we still need to be careful before getting too excited about any pre-Christian insights because the legends were set down by devout Christian monks who obviously saw the world through that particular Christian lens!

      Thanks for reading and commenting Allan – both are, as always, much appreciated! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to believe that too especially when you read how arduous travel was but then merchants, fishermen and the clergy would have travelled and had access to the means to do so regularly. Perhaps such stories were shared by them? 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Your posts never cease to enlighten, educate and entertain! There are always so many things I am unfamiliar with and your pleasant way of writing makes it a joy to read these posts and increase my knowledge. Superbly entertaining info and amazing graphics. I appreciate all the work that goes into these posts. Thank you! 💫

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, thank you for having read it – I appreciate that very much! 🤗 I am very pleased that you enjoy what you read! I truly am! 🙏
      Once again, thank you for such encouraging words!! 🤗🤗 Enjoy the rest of the week! 🙏🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a beautiful story Mother of the Korrigans 🌹🙏👍🏻First time this old day’s story reading 📖
    Photos paintings all awesome 👏 in this earth Angel mothers and witch mothers are living ,
    This mom’s fairy tale stories marvellous 👌😊 grace wishes dear friend 🌹🙏♥️🌹

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Susan! I am pleased that you enjoyed it. The artwork here are favourites of mine. I think they are so wonderfully luxuriant yet medieval! 😉
      Hope that the rest of the week is kind to you and yours! 🙏🤞


  9. What an enchanting tale – you weave your words so well. I knew Mrs. Korrigan, you know, her daughter Anne Marie was one of my bridesmaids. The spelling was Corrigan – an Irish name. Anne Marie was quite bewitching to the opposite sex…maybe she had special gifts from the ancestors?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks Kerry! I am happy that you liked it! 🙂
      The derivation of names is an interesting field! Personally, I do not find it as ‘cut-and-dried’ as some do but certainly there is a lot to learn there. The Irish Corrigan is said to be based on the Irish word for spear 😉
      Interestingly, the various spellings of the name and of Koridwen are not a big deal as there is no K in Irish Gaelic or Welsh and no C in Breton but it is the same sound! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed it!! Thank you for reading! 🙏 Some of these tales are worth repeating! 😉 I can appreciate that they are not to everyone’s taste but there is usually something in the old tales for everyone! 😉🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Le chaudron magique sounds like Panoramix’s…
    Not surprising that two “neighbourly” myths should sound alike. Levi-Strauss studied the ancient myths of pre-Colombian America and concluded that from British Colombia to Ushuaïa, that all myths were basically the same, all alike in structure. Sometimes the good guy would become the bad guy, a god would become a goodess, additional characters would be added in one place, disappear in another… When one thinks of how native Americans migrated from Alaska to the very south, they carried their myths with them, telling and retelling and changing details.
    Thanks for the post. I didn’t know Korrigans had a mother… (Sometimes, I feel like a motherless child…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, yes, it does and it just shows how some of these ancient archtypes still resonate in popular culture today. 😉

      You make an excellent point about the carrying of myths! Clearly, the need for such tales answered something deep in the human psyche. I suppose that they still do, to some extent, even today. 🤔

      You are most welcome! Thank you for reading!! I am convinced that there is much of real historical interest to be found in the old Breton texts – they have been overlooked for far too long, sadly.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful and fascinating information in this post, my friend.

    I had a devil of a time trying to find this post.

    I’ve had an extremely hectic week so was only able to get around reading it tonight.

    But I had no idea which folder my email server had posted your blog post notification in.

    After an hour, I finally found it.

    A most intriguing story of Koridwen Mother of the Korrigans and Taliesen the mysterious bard and poet.

    So intriguing I’ll probably use this myth and legend for a future vampire novel chapter.

    Which probably explains why I had a devil of a time finding it.

    That’s why I believe in the existence of malevolent unseen supernatural beings.

    There’s always a force a work trying to prevent me from finding good inspiration for my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks! 😁 I am pleased that you liked it and thank you for taking the time to track it down!
      Ha, your writing is always so delightfully inspired. Sometimes, I can see where you might have borrowed a kernel of inspiration but usually I read and am in awe at the power of your imagination!! Stay lucky my friend! 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for sharing this story! One of the first Welsh stories I had read was of Ceridwen and Gwion Bach! So to read this version and compare the similarities with the Welsh one (and the differences) was an absolute joy!

    Even the children’s names are similar: Creirwy, Morfan, Affagthu, although in the Welsh tale Morfan and Affagthu are the same person with variants of his name.

    I don’t think of these kind of tales as being one taken from the other, more that they are differently remembered versions of the original story, yet both can enrich the other. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome indeed! Thank you for reading it!! 😊🤗

      Like you, I find it fascinating how stories evolve in the telling. I think it remarkable how close the Welsh and Breton versions remain. I would, of course, love to know whether the little differences were always there. 😉

      I am convinced that there is still so much more of Brittany’s early history and literature yet to be uncovered; lying untranslated in amidst a pile of medieval manuscripts in some far corner of France. We can but hope! 😉🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem at all, it’s always a pleasure to read your posts. 😊🤗

        Indeed, were the variations always there or did they diverge naturally over time? We’ll never know, for sure, but we can always continue the search!

        Oh, but we can! And you never know, there might just be that somewhere…. 😁🙏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Once again, many thanks for your kindness and encouragement – both are much appreciated! 😊🤗

        Sadly, so many of the old manuscripts here were either lost during the Viking raids of the 10th century or during the War of Breton Succession. However, lots of material was sent away to abbeys elsewhere for safe keeping; such papers are still being discovered in regional archives even today. So, all is not lost. We can always hope! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No problem at all. 😉🤗

        It is such a shame that so much was lost to either ignorance and war, yet you are right in that there is material that has been preserved….. somewhere. And in this case, hope is all we have.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Most appreciated dear Colin, I do really mean it, and need it very much these kind and friendly words of you, both regarding my husband’s struggle with chemo, he’s doing well so far and my son’s everyday combat in work [military in air-force helicopters] and in his kids’s school duties [living non legally separated under the same roof, harrowing status..], but even though, believeit or not, everything is under control via sang-froid, understanding and mutual concessions. My very best to you and all your beloved ones! Anastasia. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Another wonderful post! I loved your analysis of Koridwen and the etymology of the cauldron in mythology. Being so closely tied to magic, it’s easy to see how cauldrons later became associated with witchcraft. And the paintings are stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “Although undoubtedly clever, he does not seem to have been particularly wise, alienating many of his peers with his pride and arrogance while causing controversies that could have been avoided.”

    Hi, my name is Anna but most people call me Ann. About the lovers, that’s a tragic story but it sounds like jealousy more-so than the lover’s attitude. Did anyone have proof Heloise was a witch?

    It’s nice to meet you. I think you are the man Alma mentioned who writes the fabulous stories that scares people in broad daylight and more so at night.

    I was reading your blog and I can see why Alma loves your writings so much. They are really good, although, some are a lot scary. But that’s how things were back then,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ann, I hope that I do not scare folks 🤞 Well, at least not too much – there is plenty in the here and now to be really scared of, unfortunately! 🙄

      It is a strange tale, this of Abélard and Héloïse. It must have sounded exciting when the Romantics of the 18th century rediscovered their tale but not sure if would resonate much today. No, there is absolutely no proof that Héloïse was a witch or even that her detractors ever called her that in her day.

      Goodness knows when she became associated with witchcraft in the Breton imagination. Some folk say that the monks in Abélard’s own abbey likely started the rumours as a way of discrediting their Abbot. An attractive theory but that would imply such ballads survived a very long time. There is no reason why they should not have but they are no epic tale of King Arthur or knightly deeds which are subjects that have endured for a similar length of time here. 🤔

      I hope that you are enjoying your time on WP and that Alma is doing well! 🙏🙏


      1. That’s okay, I like scary stories. One can’t be around my best friend Alma and remain a scary cat. Besides, some people need the living daylights scared out of them. Maybe they will stop being so bad. 🙂

        Hmm, you made a good point. Now, King Arthur wasn’t considered a warlock although he was a raised by a very powerful warlock. A very powerful immortal named Merlin, but yet he wasn’t a warlock. How did that happened? Camelot is filled with witchery. From Excalibur to Lady of the Lake. But one lone girl they didn’t like, she is a witch.

        Sounds like sexism to me. Oh, I forgot they lived and breathed that sexist stuff back then.

        I wasn’t well familar with the tragic love story of Abélard and Héloïse. Thanks for introducing me to it. I can fully understand the uncle being upset. In some places, girls were killed for getting pregnant out of wedlock, but what all those other people had to do with her business?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Arthurian legend has as many strands to it as a bowl of spaghetti! 😉 Trouble is, more keeps being added to it every year. There is, of course, nothing wrong with that, it just makes a discussion about Arthur tricky unless you agree to a cut-off date. The most common re-telling of the story features three main witches but one is also often described as a fairy. Of the other two, both were pupils of the greatest witch of all, Merlin! Sadly, none of that worked out well for any of them! 🙄


      3. Thank for the concern. It’s taking a while to get the hang of the back operating of the blog. I hadn’t realized it involved so much. 🙂 But the more I learn the easier it gets.

        Alma is still buried in her papers. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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