Moorcock conceived of Gloriana as his last fantasy novel, which it wasn’t, and as a crucial turning point in his career, which it was. Spenser’s. Gloriana the First is the Queen of Albion, an alternate version of England. She is the ruler of a vast empire, and lives in a vast, labyrinthine palace. She is known. Gloriana by Michael Moorcock – book cover, description, publication history.

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Such occupations were safe, and harmless. So that’s it – even if Moorcock didn’t mean it there is a message in here that women can get off whilst being raped. For the rest of the book — the rest of Gloriana’s life — she’s too concerned with being a queen, with being a country.

So while it has all the ingredients of a good fantasy intrigue, with strong characters in interesting relationships with responsibility and principle and politics, thematic unity, and a compelling adventure subplot in the hidden society within the walls, it just ends up feeling blunted and confused.

Gloriana (novel) – Wikipedia

In this case, the myth is that of Albion and what it is to be British – things never stated, only entered by stealth into the readers’ soul. A book that shows that Moorcock can really write and think.

Moorcock himself notes that his anti-imperialist stance at the twilight of the British Empire led him to repeatedly create these same scenarios, and I recognize this commonality with Elric, where the whole book has this air of limp, decadent ennui.

Only one of us would remain and qualify to see her again senior year. The overall effect of the telling-not-showing and the distancing of all the interesting bits and the abstract focus on Gloriana’s bedroom woes paired with an even more abstract link to actual policy is a hazy, sleepy feel that leaves a dreamlike impression I enjoy; I think Gloriana pulls that off better than Elric did.

But the key here is the opening dedication to Mervyn Peake, he of the “Gormenghast” novels which I recommended heartily and readers of that fine two thirds of a series will find themselves in familiar territory as Moorcock turns this book into basically a full on cover-band level tribute to Peake, doing his best to capture tone and vibe, with much of the action taking place in the enormous castle that just happens to have warrens in the walls filled with entire colonies of people living out their lives, while a commoner worms his way up the ranks, covertly murdering anyone who gets in his way.


Aug 04, Nikki rated it really liked it Shelves: Due to strong friendship with stalwart anti-pornography feminist Andrea Dworkinhe later altered the ending to reflect contemporary feminist-inflected comprehension of women’s sexuality and eroticism. But the major plot of the book — Quire ruins Gloriana, then saves her, then seduces her vloriana just doesn’t ring true. Moorcock based his novel on elements of Edmund Spenser ‘s The Faerie Queenean allegorical epic poem of the s that praises Queen Elizabeth I in the character of Gloriana, queen of a mythical ” Fairyland “.

Then Andrea Dworkin yells at Michael Moorcock because apparently it takes Andrea Dworkin to flag this rape thing as a bad idea and then Michael Moorcock writes an alternate ending with less rape that is somehow worse than the original. Views Read Edit View history.

She gave me this book. Therefore ‘Gloriana’ does promote virtues within the Court of Gloriana but this is really on a surface level. But when Quire feels Montfallcon has insulted him, he seeks revenge through seducing the frustrated Gloriana. It bears more than a passing similarity to the world of His Dark Materials, with an alternate history world glorriana populated with minor variant names like Tatary and Cathay and Iberia, and a multiple-worlds travel mechanic.

I did love the fact that the most powerful character was a woman – exaggerated, but still human and I can’t actively dislike a book that concludes that a really good orgasm is good for queen and country.

It’s implicitly linked to this question of sexual promiscuity and “Romance” but the plot stakes are so distant and shift with such casual ambiguity even toward the end that any links are impossible to parse. Or, The Unfulfill’d Queen Author s: All her love scenes are sexy. That being said, it takes a skilled writer to draw any comparison to Peake, even when that’s precisely what they are trying to do.


Indeed, it is interesting to contemplate how it might have been if Moorcock had written the book later in his career No man nor woman, ape-man nor robot sheep, nothing can make her climax. He became editor of Tarzan Adventures inMichael John Moorcock is an English writer primarily of science fiction and fantasy who has also published a number of literary novels.

Perhaps this is a nod to Spenser’s glorious opinion of Elizabethan society was very different in reality? Moorcock does write an excellent Dr. I know this glriana something of a modern classic, but the descriptions of it set the stage for a much more exciting book than it really is. Moorcock was a friend of Peake’s and the influence of Gormenghast glorjana clear in this work.

Queen Gloriana

Since he aims high, that revenge takes the form of wanting to seduce the queen and bring the whole peaceful empire down. Though they are not based upon those same silly cliches, they are still immediately as one-dimensional and unchanging.

In fact, it is quite different, and displays a more original kind of imagination, making it a most interesting read. Gradually the facade crumbles and the perfect vision of Albion and the Queen moorclck revealed for the myth that they are. A number of people glorianna appear to like the writing style here, which is deliberately designed to evoke the time during which the story takes place, coming across as a bit more florid than modern writing.

In the afterword, Moorcock notes that Andrea Dworkin called him out for the way this scene is depicted, so he rewrote it to clarify that it was rape and a crime and such, but like. However, Quire is not a patch on Steerpike.

And Gloriana is oppressed by the burden this places upon her – and by the fact that she remains incapable of orgasm. Moorcock was criticized for Gloriana’ s original ending, in which Quire raped Gloriana to ‘arouse’ her, which understandably led to feminist criticism of his work.