finding out something terrible about my favorite book

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.

Original Blog post in which Moira Greyland unveils the truth about her mother and childhood
Blog Post by former fan of MZB with many important links
Blog post by fellow Mists of Avalon Fan

Author: Mother of All Things

Mother by fostering, adoption, and marriage... wife to my best friend... Bay area critical care nurse... travel in my blood, reading in my bones, clean food on my mind!

3 thoughts on “finding out something terrible about my favorite book”

  1. Thank you so much for your post. Avalon is a lovely name for your daughter.

    Perhaps this will leave room for other feminist tellings of Arthurian legends from less horrible people.

  2. I can understand your distress, but having never read the book, I would encourage you that the only two things I think about when I hear her name is “what a precious girl” and “what an amazing tale / myth / legend”. I’m confident that you’ll find tons of wonderful stories and information that will help you through the pain of feeling that Avalon’s name has been tainted.

    I went through years of childhood sexual abuse as well, and I’m …. at a loss. That book has been on my list for years, I’ve always heard such great things about it. It’s like watching a movie I loved then finding out – at the end of the film – that Roman Polanski directed it. Made me so sick to think I’d enjoyed something he’d had a hand in. 😦

  3. I’m so delayed in my reply, but I just wanted to say that the magic of Avalon’s name is in no way diminished for me by its association with this book. Avalon as a concept of magic and beauty existed long before Marion Zimmer Bradley and will continue regardless of one person’s sordid behavior. Avalon remains a name that is both unique and lovely (not always an easy combination!) and I’m glad that now it makes me think of you and your daughter more than anything else.

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