I am shocked and horrified by the news that Marion Zimmer Bradley’s daughter has come out with accusations of terrible child abuse committed by her own mother towards her. I have always considered The Mists of Avalon my all-time favorite book, and have read it many times, including the last time when I was pregnant with my daughter. I named her (she named herself) Avalon, after that fabled land of beauty that disappeared from our world for all of time.
Obviously, the mythical land of Avalon was a place in fable and history long before MZB wrote Mists of Avalon. But it tears my heart to shreds to have such a truly terrible stain on the book that led me to my daughter’s name. I don’t want the beautiful name that my daughter chose for herself to ever be in any way, even distantly, associated with the depraved actions of a child molester or abuser. And no, I would not for an instant consider that her daughter is making up her claims. I myself am a survivor of child sex sexual abuse (not by my mother, let me just add), and I told several people before I was believed. That she would feel the need to make up such terrific, nauseating stories about her deceased mother, and write so eloquently about it, seems highly unlikely to me, even more unlikely than the fact that a person who created beautiful worlds and inspired millions of fans could secretly be a monster.
Monsters are so frequently only monsters in private.
I will look for deeper sources for the history of Avalon the place, and I will continue to love the story told of King Arthur and his sister, mother, and aunts, but truly I will always hold up Moira Greyland, daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley, in my heart and mind each time I think of it.
I’m not sure if I will ever be able to read my very favorite novel ever again, because my heart is broken, and its spirit is forever soured.
I will be donating the cost of the novel I own to a child abuse prevention and victim assistance charity.