Her take on Arthurian legend was memorable because it centered on female characters. The protagonist was Morgan. Arthur and the male characters were important, but only as they related to the female characters in the series which began with the Mists of Avalon.
As a feminist, Marion Zimmer Bradley created female characters that were strong and ready to fight for their families, kingdoms and beliefs. Still, they had children and sex. The female characters in her novels were complex, nuanced portrayals somewhat different from the stock fainting, big-chested females in other science fiction and fantasies.
Bradley is a very controversial figure in genre fiction because of a scandal that erupted after her death. I will not repeat what has been said. I mean, it is easy enough to read about in sensationalist sites. I just would like to talk about her work as a feminist and as an author. I was saddened to say the least to hear of the things of which she has been accused. It is the most reprehensible act possible.
In literary theory, there are scholars who say that a person’s personal life should not be considered when a text is approached. The text should be considered on it’s individual merits. Now, that Bradley has passed away, what has happened has smirched the legacy of her novels. That is the sad thing.
Bradley was a novelist from Albany, New York. She wrote science fiction and fantasy. Her bibliography includes more than one hundred works. She wrote science fiction stories about aliens, fantasy tales about pagans in the British Isles and non-fiction as well.
She married twice and had one child with Mr. Bradley and two children with her second husband. Marion Zimmer Bradley cannot be understood simply or be summarized in one hundred words because there are layers upon layers of complexity to her life. She lived honestly. She lived tragically and left tragedy behind in a world that perhaps will never understand.