Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Few More Details

Poul Anderson, Three Hearts And Three Lions (London, 1977), Chapter Two.

Mother Gerd has a hook nose, an iron pot and a black cat called "Grimalkin" and even claims to be a witch. She refers to:

"'...wonder-working relics of some saint, that do their miracles alike for Christians or paynim...'" (p. 19)

we have met "paynim" before, e.g., in The Shield Of Time, but perhaps it was time to google it. I had not realized that it was derived, via Anglo-Norman and Old French, from Latin paganus.

She says that dwellers in the marchland need magical "'...protection against the Middle World powers...'" (ibid.)

Thus, this "Middle World" seems to be different from Midgard or Middle Earth.

"This house, and the carline who took his knightly accoutrements as a matter of course..." (p. 20)

An old woman? Oh, so it refers to Mother Gerd.

Holger considers time travel but cannot make sense of Gerd's references to Fairies. The marches are disputed between the Middle World/Faerie and the Holy Empire. And there is another human group: the Saracens. The Christians claim that Mahound is an evil spirit and maybe he is here.

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