Lancelot: Her Story

By Carol Anne Douglas

Lancelot is a lesbian; so is Guinevere

A young girl sees a man rape and murder her mother. She grabs a stick and puts out his eye. Her father raises her as a boy so she will be safe from men’s attacks. She practices and practices until she becomes a great fighter – Lancelot. She wants to protect women, and she does. Lancelot hears about King Arthur, a just king across the sea, and journeys to earn a place at Camelot. She vows to serve him, but fears that Arthur and his men will discover that she is a woman and send her away. Lancelot is shocked to realize that she is falling in love with the king’s wife, Guinevere. Guinevere is a strong woman who would have preferred to be queen in her own right, not just through marriage. Saxons attack Arthur’s kingdom, and Lancelot finds out that fighting a war is far different from saving women in single combat. The savagery of war devastates her. According to Curious Wine author Katherine V. Forrest, “Lancelot: Her Story takes a place alongside Nicola Griffith’s brilliant Hild (2013, set in the Middle Ages), in its highly detailed depiction of life in medieval times, in its re-imagining of the Arthurian legends, specifically that noblest, purest of heart Knight of the Round Table, that polestar of the Arthurian legends, Lancelot. The story is both ingenious and suspenseful in its reworking of the tapestry of medieval times and its endless wars through a feminist prism.”

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