Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gone to Carterhaugh...

It seems to me that many people, particularly authors, find their way to Carterhaugh despite the narrator's warning ("I forbid you, maidens all" and all).

For my part, I discovered Tam Lin through Pamela Dean's novel,and after some time of subsequently feeling like only she and I were really aware of the story, realized that there were really quite a lot of versions, and that quite a lot of people are at least a little bit obsessed with the ballad. So I want to record here a few of those retellings, in the order I encountered them, to the best of my ability. Doubtless there are many more, and maybe you'd like to tell me about them in the comments? I know I would like it if you told me about them in the comments.


Pamela Dean - Tam Lin
Set on a college campus with an eerie Classics department and students who recite Shakespeare.

Janet M. Naughton - An Earthly Knight
In an attempt to histori-cize the ballad, she sets it in 12th century Scotland. Plus, there's another ballad thrown in for fun.

Elizabeth Marie Pope - The Perilous Gard
Actually mentions the ballad, while the heroine (called Kate here) attempts to determine the nature of Faerie. I remember reading this book, and thinking I should just stop trying to write faeries, because Pope had done it so very well first. Honestly one of the most interesting interpretations ever.

Diana Wynne Jones - Fire and Hemlock
Involves a lot of tracking down memories, and somewhere in them, Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer get to play.

Patricia A. McKillip - Winter Rose
Set in a magical medieval-ish forest, with gorgeous writing.

Picture Books
They're both pretty much straight interpretations of the ballad, but without, you know, the whole pregnant part.
Jane Yolen - Tam Lin
Susan Cooper - Tam Lin

Honorable Mention
Holly Black - Tithe
It's not Tam Lin, per say, but she does explore the tiend, and the political implications of messing with it.