Morgan le Fay

April 4, 2020

In c1150 Geoffrey of Monmouth named nine sisters in his Vita Merlini as the rulers of the enchanted island of Avalon. Among them was Morgen (more familiar to us as Morgan le Fay), who in later stories is described as Arthur’s half-sister and becomes his most implacable foe. Sir Thomas Malory, in his great 15th-century novel, Le Mort D’Arthur, tells us Morgan was “put to school on a nunnery, where she learned magic and necromancy”.

Though this may sound odd to us today, many of the women in enclosed orders were learned, and since learning was frequently equated with magic, thus Morgan came to be considered a sorceress.

John Matthews
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