THE GREEN ISLE by Philip Burton


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A romantic sort of pseudolegend about Geraint, a Welsh shepherd in the service of a Norman count, and the count's daughter Lady Eleanor whom he hides from a band of Welsh freedom fighters. When Geraint refuses the Count's grateful offer of a commission (""I could not fight against my people"") he is beaten and imprisoned, but Lady Eleanor with the help of her old Welsh nurse Myfanwy rescues him and the three retire to a magical green isle of peace and love which only the two young lovers are able to see. How old Myfanwy makes out on a land she couldn't see is not explained and Burton is equally cavalier about other plot matters of the sort that children can be sticklers on -- at first we're told that Geraint can't join the Welsh rebels because his parents would be punished but later when he runs off with Eleanor it's okay because, as Myfanwy explains, ""Good servants are as precious as gold, and. . . only a fool will throw away his gold."" What credibility the green island and the general loveliness do acquire is provided by Parker's full page watercolors which do for Wales in their more shadowy way something of what his illustrations for Dorothy Parker's Liam's Catch did for County Kilkenny, Ireland.

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 1974
Publisher: Dial