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Caelia: An Arthurian Faerie Character

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Caelia is an interesting Arthurian character, as she appears in two rather obscure texts: Tom a Lincoln by Richard Johnson, and The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser.

Tom a Lincoln by Richard Johnson

In Tom a Lincoln, Caelia is a Faerie Queen who rules an island called “fairy land”, which is full of women who have killed their warmongering husbands.

During this story, she entreats Tom and his other companions to stay on their island, as these women are frustratingly without any men to help them repopulate the island. So sad.

Tom would eventually become the father of her son, the Faerie Knight, but she later commits suicide after assuming that Tom had abandoned her, clearly demonstrating that a man wrote the story.

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The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

In The Faerie Queene, Caelia appears in a completely different light. There, she is the ruler of a place called the House of Holiness, an antithesis to the House of Pride that we see earlier in the story. We see her surrounded by other holy people, including her three daughters:

During the course of the story, Caelia helps Una and the Redcrosse knight find peace and healing. In particular, Caelia and her daughters help the Redcrosse knight become holy so that he is able to fight the dragon.

See our complete list of Arthurian characters for more entries like this one.

Arthurian Bibliography

See also my ever-expanding list of primary and secondary sources.

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Jason is a Mythic Fantasy Author and creator of MythBank. He loves mythology, history, and geek culture. When he's not writing, his favorite hobbies include hiking, chilling with his wife, spouting nonsense words at his baby daughter, and developing this (and other) websites.

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