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Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair

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Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair

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Author: William Morris
Publisher: Newcastle Publishing, 1977
Kelmscott Press, 1895
Series: Forgotten Fantasy: Book 12
Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
Sub-Genre Tags: Mythic Fiction (Fantasy)
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Synopsis

Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair, set in the forested land of Oakenrealm, was Morris' reimagining and recasting of the medieval Lay of Havelock the Dane, with his displaced royal heirs Christopher and Goldilind standing in for the original story's Havelock and Goldborough.

Christopher is portrayed as initially ignorant of his true identity, leading to an emotional conflict between the protagonists to reconcile their mutual love and attraction with what they believe to be the profound disparity in their social status and shame of their forced marriage. This situation is resolved when the two fall in with Jack of the Tofts, who gives refuge to Christopher after his sons rescue the hero from an assassination attempt by a servant of the usurper Earl Rolf.

Jack informs Christopher of his true station and gathers together an army to help him challenge the usurper. When the hosts meet, the commander of Rolf's forces, Baron Gandolf of Brimside, challenges Jack to single combat, but Christopher claims the honor from Jack and proves his worth by defeating the opposing champion.

In contrast to his source, Morris emphasizes the romantic aspect of the story, giving a prominent place to the heroine's misfortunes and bringing to the forefront the love story between her and the hero; the warfare by which the hero regains his heritage is relegated to a secondary role.


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