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  • Jo-Anne Blanco

Caelia, Queen of the Muryans

Following on from my blog post about the Muryans I have done some research into Caelia, Queen of the Muryans.

In the Fata Morgana Series, Caelia is the Queen of the Muryans. The character of Caelia (meaning ‘heavenly’) as a Fairy Queen first appears in Book I of Sir Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, published initially in 1590 and again in 1596. In Spenser’s poem, Caelia is the ruler of the House of Holiness. She has three daughters, Charissa (charity), Fidelia (faith) and Speranza (hope), and she helps the hero of Book I, the Redcrosse Knight, recover from captivity in her House so that he may continue his adventures.

Caelia then appears in Richard Johnson’s romance Tom a’ Lincoln, published in two parts in 1599 and 1607. Tom, also known as the Red Rose Knight, is the illegitimate son of King Arthur and Angelica, daughter of the Earl of London, but is unaware of his parentage. After Tom is made a Knight of the Round Table, he goes on a quest to find his parents and his ship lands on an island called Fairy Land, populated entirely by women who have killed their violent men. Caelia is the Queen of Fairy Land, and she and Tom fall in love and have an affair. Caelia asks Tom and his men to stay on the island to replace the men who have been killed, and when Tom is called away to another adventure, he promises to return to her. While he is away, Caelia bears their son, who is destined to become the Faerie Knight, but Tom elopes with the daughter of the Asiatic monarch Prester John, Anglitora, with whom he has another son later known as the Black Knight. When trying to return to Fairy Land, Tom’s ship is unable to land on the island and Caelia, believing that he has abandoned her for Anglitora, pins a note to her chest and drowns herself in the ocean. Tom brings the Fairy Queen’s body back to be buried in Arthur’s realm.

Caelia appears in Books 1, 2 and 3 in the Fata Morgana Series.

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