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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Legend of Tristan and Isolde

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Image from Wikimedia

Premise of the Story: Tristan was King Mark of Cornwall's nephew (in the movie he was adopted by King Mark after Tristan's father was murdered by the invading Irish).  Tristan earned his knighthood but was fatally wounded. He then set out to Ireland to find cure (in the movie he was presumed dead and the boat carrying his body drifted ashore to Ireland). There he met Isolde who was skilled in healing and she was able to cure Tristan unknown to him, she was the daughter of King Mark's bitter rival/enemy. Eventually, he had to take Isolde to Cornwall to marry King Mark. In order to settle the long-standing fight between Cornwall and Ireland, The Irish King offered the hand of his daughter to anyone who could defeat his champion. Tristan, representing King Mark was able to defeat the Irish champion and was forced to fetch the Irish Princess for King Mark . While on the journey, he and Isolde drank from a cup that was alleged to have contained a love potion that was intended for King Mark and Isolde.

One of the stories that I've read that fascinated me the most is the legend of Tristan and Isolde. Long before there was a Romeo and a Juliet- a star-crossed love affair between a Celtic knight and an Irish Princess has been retold and passed from years yonder (Am I using this old English word right?).

I just love this beautiful dress, it was also used in Arabian Nights
a Hallmark Speacial

The story of how I discovered this story is also interesting. Years ago, when I was still in College (First year to be exact, 2002), I was spending idle time in the Library. I had requested to be transferred to another class for some reason so I got separated from my block section on that certain period. Alone, I would go spend my time inside our University Library doing nothing in particular since sleeping was prohibited. I was strolling along the fiction aisle and was absentmindedly pulling books-pretending like I was looking for something so that I wouldn't look like an idle idiot and to keep myself awake since there were about 3 of us in that  big room (old books were stored in a separate room with better temperature to preserve books) when my hand happened to settle on a hard bound book that doesn't have a dust jacket. At first I thought it was a bible misplaced. I absentmindedly opened the book and the title caught my eye, "The Enchanted Cup"

I discovered that though it doesn't have a dust jacket- the inner flaps of the dust jacket was somehow glued to the inside of the cover thus, I was able to read the summary of the book. I looked at the back portion of the book and saw the ancient-looking library card- I can't remember the exact last date the book was borrowed but it was somewhere in the 80s and there were only 2 persons before me that borrowed it. I took the book and borrowed it. We were usually given two weeks(?) to keep the book we borrowed but at that time I was really busy with my academics since my course requires me to maintain a high grade. I wasn't able to finish the book though I have renewed it for another term and also eventually paid some fines-because it was so hard to part with the book not because I haven't finished it but for some reason it became a sentimental piece for me (weird right?).

I returned the book eventually and keep telling myself that I would come back one day again after our exams and borrow it again. Days turned to weeks and it turned to months and finally a semester has come and gone but I still think of the book from time to time. One night, I had a dream that I went to the Library again and borrowed the book and stole it.The next day, I went to the library and borrowed the book again and had it photocopied. I spent 2-day worth of allowance to have it photocopied, reduced and binded so I that I can have my copy.

I have also seen the movie starring James Franco and Sophia Myles- ( it's no surprise that James Franco didn't enjoy making the film-it visibly affected his acting he seems like a distant and gloomy Tristan).

One day, I was randomly browsing Ebay when I saw this doll (I have quite a number of Barbie Dolls I have collected ) It's an Irish Princess Barbie Doll that somehow, reminded me of the story that I had the sudden obsession to buy it thus making my first international Ebay transaction. 

For a more flattering picture pls visit this site: Princess of Ireland Barbie

After that I tried to look for the book again. It's been a year since I've ordered my first set of books from BetterWorldBooks and I've been searching for that particular book for a year, hoping that a secondhand copy would be available until last May, I finally found a copy available at BetterWorldBooks. It took almost two months for me to get the book but I can't help but feel that I've come full circle and finally have my copy of the book that enchanted me.

Picture Credit:

It also lead me to finally finding a doll made to symbolize or characterize Isolde. That doll is quite expensive but I do have plans of procuring one soon so stay tuned. Infinite xoxoxoxo

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