Infobox Book |
name = Elidor

image_caption =
author = Alan Garner
illustrator = Charles Keeping
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
genre = Fantasy
publisher = William Collins, Sons And Company Limited
release_date = 1965
media_type = Print (Hardback)
pages = 160 (hardcover edition)
isbn = Pre-ISBN

"Elidor" is a fantasy novel by Alan Garner.

Plot introduction

Originally written as a short radio play, the book concerns the adventures of a group of young teenagers as they struggle to hold back a terrible darkness by fulfilling a prophecy from another world.

Like many of Garner's books, the emphasis of the narrative is on the hardships, cost and practicalities of the choices and responsibilities that the protagonists face.

Explanation of the novel's title

The name "Elidor" originates in a Welsh folktale whose title is commonly translated as "Elidor And The Golden Ball", described by Giraldus Cambrensis in "Itinerarium Cambriae", a record of his 1188 journey across the country. Elidor was a priest who as a boy was led by dwarves to a castle of gold in a land that, while beautiful, was not illuminated by the full light of the sun. ["Elidor And The Golden Ball" [http://www.safalra.com/other/elidor-and-the-golden-ball/] from Richard Colt Hoare (1806), "The Itinerary Of Archibishop Baldwin Through Wales", a translation of Giraldus Cambrensis (1191), "Itinerarium Cambriae"] This compares with Garner's description of the golden walls of Gorias contrasting with the dull sky of the land of Elidor.

Allusions/references to other works

English folklore

"Elidor" begins with an epigraph quoting from William Shakespeare's "King Lear":

:"Childe Rowland to the Dark Tower came - " KING LEAR, act iii, sc. 4

This is an allusion to the English folktale of "Childe Rowland", from which several elements of the plot of "Elidor" are drawn. "Childe Rowland" features the eponymous Rowland, his two brothers, and his sister Burd Ellen. Rowland kicks a ball over a church and when Burd Ellen attempts to retrieve it she disappears. Rowland's brothers then leave to find her but they do not return, leaving Rowland to rescue his siblings. Later Rowland must command a door to open in a hillside, wherein he finds Burd Ellen under a spell. ["Childe Rowland" [http://www.authorama.com/english-fairy-tales-24.html] from Joseph Jacobs (1892), "English Folk And Fairy Tales"]

Irish mythology

The names of the four castles of Elidor - Findias in the South, Falias in the West, Murias in the North, and Gorias in the East - are allusions to the four cities of the Tuatha Dé Danann in Irish mythology - Finias (sic), Falias, Murias, and Gorias.Geoffrey Keating (2002), "The History of Ireland"]

The four treasures of Elidor - the Spear Of Ildana held by Malebron, David's sword, Nicholas's stone, and Helen's cauldron - correspond to the Four Treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann - the Spear of Lugh, Claíomh Solais, Lia Fáil, and The Dagda's Cauldron. However, the associations between the treasures and the castles differ - in "Elidor" the Spear of Ildana is associated with Gorias, whereas the Irish mythological equivalent, the Spear of Lugh, is associated with Finias (although the treasure associated with Gorias, Claíomh Solais, is sometimes called the Sword Of Lugh, which may explain the confusion).

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

Garner and Don Webb adapted "Elidor" into a children's television series for the BBC. The series consisted of six half-hour episodes starring Damian Zuk as Roland and Suzanne Shaw as Helen. ["Elidor" (1995) [TV-Series] [http://imdb.com/title/tt0303455/] [http://www.classickidstv.co.uk/wiki/Elidor] ]

Release details

*1965, UK, Collins (Pre-ISBN), Pub date 1965, Hardback
*2002, UK, CollinsVoyager ISBN 0-00-712791-X, Pub date 5 August 2002, Paperback


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