Prydain, along with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, were the two places I most wanted to be, writes Joshua Ellis at Zenarchery.com, reacting to this week’s death of prolific children’s writer Lloyd Alexander, who succumbed to cancer at 83.
Josh, I agree 100 percent.
The Boston Globe printed this obituary in today’s paper.
(Andrew saw the same obituary, I later learned.)
I remember finding a copy of Alexander’s “The Book of Three” in my fifth grade classroom’s bookshelf. While Edgy didn’t care for the series, I was blown away, following the adventures of Taran, the Assistant Pig-Keeper who dreamed of being a hero. What fifth grade boy didn’t want to be a hero when he grew up?
I quickly read the five novels comprising “The Chronicles of Prydain” and was entranced. I fell in love with Princess Eilonwy, giggled at Gurgi and Doli, boggled at the traveling minstrel Fflewddur Fflam, emulated Lord Gwydion and wise Dallben, dreaded Arawn and Achren, admired Hevydd and Dwyvach, and began to appreciate the concept of fate and destiny with the old women Orddu, Orwen, and Orgoch.
While Femminsta dreamed of becoming Princess Eilonwy, I yearned to be Fflewddur Fflam, who always exclaimed, “Great Belin!” I enjoyed reading about his magical harp.
It could be said my earliest travels were to Narnia and Prydain, in the form of magical mystery tours offered by C.S. Lewis and Lloyd Alexander. Both men are dead, but their contributions to literature–and my memory–live on.