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  • Gloriana

    I recently re-read Gloriana. There was much I missed my first time through it. I was younger, busier, and hadn't yet read Peake. Having said that...

    I was not quite ready to feel as much as I did while reading Gloriana. The court intrigue affected me, but the characters really got underneath my skin. Quire, in particular, resonated with me this second time in a way that he didn't my first time through. I think I was used to one-dimensional villians then, and wasn't looking for depth in him. But this time... Evil-- maybe. Shrewd-- certainly. Self-serving-- of course. Noble? I'm still thinking about how he even fits into a contiuum that includes noble as one extreme.

    And the burdens of Gloriana! To live a life as the embodiment of the empire and justice... That she finds humanity in that life is both tragic and hopeful.

    I also have to mention the Countess of Skaith. Una makes any story better. She is daring, stable, loyal, and (especially) strong.

    I would be interested to hear what others say about these and any of the other characters, as well as the story itself.

  • #2
    I read Glorianna a long time ago now and recall it being an excellent book. I had read the Gormenghast trilogy a couple of years before so enjoyed the Peakean flavour, along with the admixture of Elizabethan flair and the downplayed references to Mike's own multiverse. I really need to re-read this one sometime soon. I read the original version. Mind boggling to think that Mike wrote it in a mere 10 weeks.


    • #3
      I recommend reading it again, Mouser. I think there is something to be found in a re-reading. You may actually catch some subtle references to his larger cast of characters.

      More importantly, the lush landscape is likely to be more vibrant a second time through it.

      Sorry to sound like such a fan, but it really is a masterpiece.


      • #4
        Sorry, i read Gloriana a long time ago and my memory of the book is such that i don' t want to read it again ... too long, too heavy, not pleasantly elliptic as others MM books ..... boring .....


        • #5
          Originally posted by Morgan Kane
          Sorry, i read Gloriana a long time ago and my memory of the book is such that i don' t want to read it again ... too long, too heavy, not pleasantly elliptic as others MM books ..... boring .....
          Boring It has to be one of my favourite books of all time (as opposed to one of my favourite MM books). Gloriana is a constant plaesure. I could not tell you how mant tiumes I have read it.


          • #6
            I'll resort to fandom again, agreeing with johneffay. Gloriana is one of my favorite novels, period. I cannot imagine someone finding it boring. However, I certainly respect someone's opinion on a book. After all, one of the best things about reading is finding something that really clicks with you, and that may be something that works only for you.

            The court intrigue, the existential dilemmas of being trapped by social roles and expectations, Quire, Glory...

            I could go on and on with how I found it so exciting, not just remarkably well executed.

            Maybe it was the translation, Morgan?


            • #7
              I read it in english .......

              i know i am very particuliar about tastes in reading ...... .


              • #8
                Glorianna is one of David Pringle's choices for the top one hundred fantasy novels from 1946 to 1987. He writes:

                'Glorianna is a long novel: copiously inventive, funny, exiting, sometimes disgusting, and always rich with allusions. It contains references not only to Spencer, Peake, and English history, but to the whole of Michael Moorcock's own extensive body of fiction - from Sexton Blake and Elric of Melnibone to Una Persson and the dancers at the End of Time. Although a brilliantly sucessful novel in it's own terms, it is also a portmanteau work which serves as a keystone in a personal mythology: a summing up of the fifty or so novels which it's author had already produced, and a clearing of the decks in preparation for other major books to come.'
                It's worth noting that David chooses two more of Mike's books for his top 100, Stormbringer and Warhound and the World's Pain.


                • #9
                  Just finished reading Gloriana for the first time. What a rich, complex, immersive book! I really didn't want it to end. I thought that Quire made for a wonderfully engaging villain. I loved the parallel between the world within the walls and Montfallcon's behind-the-scenes methods of sustaining Gloriana's reign. Both symbolise how the spirit of Hern's reign lives on: just as the old parts of the castle have been buried but still thrive, so do the old methods of bloodletting continue under the guise of a Golden Age. Brilliant. Good to see Una and Wheldrake and catch the sly winks and nods from Una to Dee about the multiverse. And what an awful revelation about Dee's simulacrum! That was a real shocker. The seasonal changes in scene, character and narrative were exquisite. I really wasn't expecting to enjoy this anywhere near as much as I did. I read it at a slower pace than is normal for me (finishing off RPG design projects and getting birthing room ready effectively hobbled me) but I very much enjoyed the consequently langorous stroll through Albion.

                  Need to track down a copy with the original ending (mine is a revised copy) and see how that reads...
                  The name that can be named is not the true name.


                  • #10
                    I've always loved Quire as character, he is a wonderful anti heroe for me, and I'd like to have other adventures of him. I hope that Mike write about him again...

                    - Dalmatius -

                    "I'm forbidden to reign, but I'll never yield before the facts: I am the Cat"


                    • #11
                      Initially I loved his incredible wit and cleverness. Then, as the story progressed, I grew to enjoy his flaws. The fact of his fallibility and his over-reaching made him all the more believable. I'd also echo a post in another thread on the book that highlights him ultimately becoming a "sober little king", in complete contradiction to his earlier repeated statements about never wishing to rule. In a way, his humbling in this fashion is the ultimate punishment for his misdeeds.
                      The name that can be named is not the true name.


                      • #12
                        Been out of town and couldn't add, but better late than never.

                        I agree that the many layers of the castle and the way the seasons peel away add a great deal of texture to the story. It also kept me in touch with the history that so many people were willing to go to such extremes to protect. In other words, I understood a great deal about the court intrigue because of what the narrative reveals about the castle's structure and the way time passes in and through the court.

                        As for Quire-
                        Without spoiling things...

                        I agree with your assessment about Quire's "punishment," but you may find less resolution (or a different kind) in the original ending. He always reminded me a bit of Jagged, too, and appealed to me in the same way. Both could make things happen, especially by pulling strings behind the scenes, and hide more than they show.