November 1, 2012

Guinevere: The Lady in White

Posted in Goddess Project, Goddess Things tagged , , , , at 10:35 am by Babs

Guinevere (Welsh, Cornish) also Gwenhwyfar, Gueneve, and Gwenivere.  Her name means “white shadow”, the sovereign power behind King Arthur’s throne.  While the Camelot stories surrounding her, King Arthur, and his rival, are romantic in nature, these modern incarnations demean the status of the sovereign Goddess in their telling… She was the sovereign who gave Arthur his right to rule simply by being with him.  When she left him he pursued her not for love, but because without her his kingdom would crumble for lack of leadership.  The role of Goddess of Sovereignty is more clearly seen in her legends than in many others.  Her duty is to blend the king’s energy with the energy of the land.  It is in many myths that when the king forgets where his power comes from that the queen will seek other champions and lovers to remind him as she gladly did.

She is also a May Queen who is occasionally thought of as a female Gwyn Ap Nuad, an otherworld king and God of the hunt.  According to Arthurian legend, Arthur met Guinevere in the court of Duke Cador of Cornwall.  Guinevere was the ward of Cador and she came from a noble Roman family; according to both Wace and Layamon, it was on her mother’s side that she was Roman.  Later legends say that Guinevere was the daughter of Leodegan (Leodegraunce), king of Camelide (Camelot).  After Arthur helped Leodegan, Arthur became betrothed to Guinevere.  One of Guinevere’s companions, after she married Arthur, was her cousin and lady-in-waiting, Elibel.  They married but had no children (except in the Perlesvaus, where their son was named Lohot (Loholt)).

In the Welsh Mabinogion called Culhwch and Olwen (before 1100), Guinevere was called Gwenhwfar which possibly means “White Phantom”.  This was Guinevere’s first appearance.  Gwenhwyfar was the daughter of Gogrfan and the wife of Arthur.  The tale also mentioned that Gwenhwyfar had a sister, named Gwenhwyfach.  This sister of Gwenhwyfar, Gwenhwyfach, also appeared in the Welsh Triads 54, in the 2nd line of the Three Harmful Blows of the Island of Britain: The second Gwenhwyfach struck upon Gwenhwyfar: and for the cause there took place afterwards the Action of the Battle of Camlan… This is the only Welsh reference that we have found in Guinevere’s connection to the Battle of Camlann, which is markedly different from that of Mordred seizing her and the throng of Arthur.

According to Diu Krone, Heinrich von dem Turlin says that her sister was Queen Lenomie of Alexandria.

The Mabinogion had mentioned several times that Arthur had several sons: Gwydre, who was killed by the boar Twrch Trwyth (in Culhwch and Olwen), Llacheu, who was later identified as Lohot (in the Dream of Rhonabwy), and Amhar (in Gereint and Enid).  But there was nothing to indicate that they were her sons, though as wife of Arthur, we could possibly assume they probably were her sons.  In most tales, they were married but had no children, except in the Grail romance titled Perlesvaus, where their son was named Lohot.  According to this tale, when Sir Kay murdered Lohot, Guinevere was grief-stricken and she died from broken heart.

In the poem known as the Welsh Triad, Arthur had three queens.  All three wives were named Gwenhwyfar.  They were called Gwenhwyfar daughter of Gwent (Cywryd), and Gwenhwyfar daughter of Gwythyr son of Greidiawl, and Gwenhwyfar daughter of Gogfran (Gogrvan) the Giant.  This recalls the Celtic love for the number three, like the triple personifications of Ireland, the triple war-goddesses Morrigan, the triple Sovereignty of Ireland or the triple mother-goddesses Danu in Irish myths.  Here, the Welsh myths are identical to the Irish, with the three wives of Arthur being the personification of Britain or the Sovereignty of Britain.  Gwenhwyfar represtnts the land of the kingdom and was more than just a queen, but a powerful goddess.  And in order for Arthur to become king of Britain, he must wed and mate with the three goddesses in order to ensure the prosperity and fertility of the land (Britain).

In the Latin romance, titled The Rise of Sir Gawain, Gwendolena (Guinevere) was not only Arthur’s wife; she was a powerful sorceress, who had the ability of foretelling.  It was she who predicted a champion Sir Kay, when these two challenge Gawain, but were unhorsed.  Guinevere was said to be a wise queen as well as one of the most beautiful women in the world.  Her great beauty also caused trouble for her.  She had being abducted a few times, where she had to be rescued.  According to The Life of Gildas, Caradoc of Llangarfan wrote that Melvas, king of the Summer Country, had abducted and raped Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere).  War erupted between Arthur and Melvas and Melvas retreated to Glastonbury.  St. Gildas doesn’t like Arthur, since the king had killed his rebellious brothers, but he intervenes.  St. Gildas talked the two warring kings to make peace, and Melvas returned Gwenhwyfar back to Arthur.

This event was most likely the source for the romance of Chretien de Troyes, titled Le Chevalier a la Charrette, which translated to Knight of the Cart, though sometimes it was “Lancelot”.  This Melvas became Meleagant, the son of King Baudemagus of Gorre.  Meleagant had abducted Guinevere and later challenged the hero Lancelot to a duel, which he lost.  Lancelot fought him again, in the second duel, and killed Meleagant.  Though, Lancelot appeared in earlier works of Chretien, but his role was minor.  The Knight of the Cart is actually Lancelot’s first appearance as a hero and it was the first time that he appeared as Guinevere’s lover.

In the early tradition (in Geoffrey’s work and the Welsh texts) when Mordred, acting as a regent during Arthur’s absence in the war against the Romans, seized power in Britain.  To add salt to Arthur’s wound, Mordred had married Guinevere.  Mordred may have forced Guinevere into marrying him, but most say that she was accomplice in the treason and may have seduced Mordred.  According to the alliterative morte Arthure, Guinevere had two sons by Mordred.  Again, like the Irish myth, the king can only rule the land if he marries a goddess of the land.  And since the Welsh see Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere) as a goddess, it was she who could choose a king, and she had seduced Mordred, therefore Mordred was in effect, a legitimate king.

There is one interesting short story which a poetess named Marie de France had written in the lat 12th century, titled Lanval,  Marie had written that she had translated from a Breton song, known as the lai.  The story telling of how the hero Lanval was loved by a fairy woman, where he must not reveal of her presence to anyone.  When Guinievere, his liege lord’s wife, had unsuccessfully tried to seduce him, he boast of the fairy woman’s beauty surpassing the Queen.  Guinevere then falsely accused him of making unwanted advances upon her and bragging of loving a woman more beautiful than her.  Arthur would have punished him if Lanval could prove his boast, had it not being the timely arrival of the fairy woman saved from execution with her appearance.  Lanval and the fairy woman then left the mortal world, to dwell in Avalon.  Here, Guinevere was clearly portrayed as the adulteress, who tried to seduce the young knight.  The tale is similar to another, later Breton lai titled Graelent, written in the mid 13th century, by an anonymous writer.

However, Guinevere was best known for her long love affair with Lancelot, the best knight in the world.  This firs appeared in Chretien de Troyes’ romance titled Knight of the Cart (or Lancelot).  In the Vulgate Cycle and after, Guinevere had definitely betrayed Arthur by committing adultery.  However, it was not Mordred who was her lover, but the greatest knight of them all – Lancelot of the lake.  All Lancelot’s heroic deeds were performed because of his love for her.  Lancelot was inspired by her love.  Lancelot was her lover and her champion.  Lancelot would often rescue her from one danger or another.  (See Knot of the Cart from Lancelot du Lac.)

There was probably some justification of the adultery of Lancelot and Guinevere, since Arthur was not entirely blameless or guiltless.  In the Vulgate text (Lancelot), on the night Lancelot first made love to Guinevere, Arthur was in the arms of Saxon sorceress and enemy.  (See Lancelot)  And, their love would cause Lancelot to fail in the Quest of the Grail, and would bring about the circumstance, which would cause death of Arthur and the destruction of the Round Table.

The kingdom and the Round Table became identically associated with Guinevere.  When Arthur married Guinevere, he was given the Round Table and a hundred knights, as part of dowry.  When Arthur tried to execute Guinevere, then a war broke out between Lancelot and Arthur, the Round Table in a sense had been broken.  Before the Grail quest, Guinevere’s love for Lancelot had in fact made Arthur’s kingdom and the Round Table – strong.

The big difference between Mordred and Lancelot was that Lancelot didn’t seek to rule in Arthur’s place.  Lancelot loved Arthur as his king, and was willing to carry this secret relation to his grave.  This strange loyalty to Arthur had actually made Arthur’s claim to kingship, even stronger.  But this triangle could not last, since adultery is seen as crime and a sin.  It was only when Arthur arrested Guinevere for adultery and treason, that the power of the Round Table broke.  The Round Table was not broken in the physical sense, but symbolically when the two strongest supporters of Arthur became two factions between the House of Ban (Lancelot) and the House of Orkney (Gawain), came into conflict.  Though the war ended without either side winning and Guinevere was returned to Arthur, the strength of the Round Table was seriously weakened without the support of Lancelot and his kinsmen, when Mordred betrayed Arthur and seized the kingdom.  In the Vulate Cycle and later authors, Guinevere had managed to prevent Mordred from marrying her by gathering loyal men hidden behind the walls of the Tower of London.

As Arthur fought Mordred, Guinevere had fled to abbey at Caerleon or the City of Legion (or outside of London, according to Mort Artu).  Guinevere took the vow to become a nun, even before the battle was decided.

It should be noted that there were two Guineveres according to the Vulgate Cycle.  In the Vulgate Merlin, the second Guinevere was the daughter of King Leodegan and his seneschal’s wife.  His seneschal was named Cleodalis, who married the maid of Leodegan’s wife.  The maid became a lady in Leodegan’s court.  Leodegan lusted after the seneschal’s new wife.  Leodegan had sent Cleodalis with and army against the Irish.  Shortly after Leodegan had made love to his wife, the Queen being a devout Christian, went to the church.  So in his wife’s absence, Leodegan took advantage of the situation and ravished his wife’s former maid.

The two Guineveres were actually half-sisters.  As it can be seen, the were conceived on the same night and were later born on the same day and with the same name, and looked exactly alike.  Leodegan and his wife’s daughter became Arthur’s wife and the mistress of Lancelot.  This second Guinevere was frequently known as the False Guinevere or Second Guinevere.  The only means of identifying the real Guinevere from the false was that she had a birthmark of a king’s crown on her back, while the Second Guinevere had none.

In Lancelot Proper, the False Guinevere would later cause the separation of Arthur and his wife.  She posed as the false queen and wife of Arthur; trying to get Arthur to execute the real Guinevere.  This plan was foiled when Lancelot challenged three of her knights in a trial by combat.  Even though, Lancelot won the contest, Arthur was still in love with the imposter, because she had given a love potion to the king.  The False Guinevere and her accomplice Bertholai confessed to their crime when they were both struck down by a mysterious illness.  It is not certain if the imposter died from her illness or she was executed on Arthur’s order.

The wife of Arthur, daughter of Kin Leodegrance of Cameliard in Malory.  Welsh tradition calls her father Gogrvan or Ocvran, whille in Diu Crone he is called King Garlin of Galore.  A late literary source, Thelwalls play “The Fairy of the Lake” (1801), suggests that she is the daughter of Vortigern.  Wace makes her Mordred’s sister.  In Geoffrey, she is of Roman stock, and while Arthur was fighting the Roman war, Mordred abducted her and made himself king.  In the later version of the Arthurian story she was the lover of Lancelot.  Their intrigue discovered, Lancelot fled and Guinevere was duly sentenced to burning.  Lancelot rescued her and war followed between him and Arthur.  While Arthur was away, Mordred rebelled.  Arthur returned to do battle with him and received his final wound.  Guinevere took the veil.  However, there are different tails of her end.  According to Perlesvaus, she died in Arthur’s lifetime, while Boece averred she ended her days as a prisoner of the Picts.  She and Arthur had a son called Loholt, though he was also said to be the son of Arthur and Lionors.  The Alliterative Morte Arthure says that she and Mordred were the parents of two sons.  B. Saklatvala has suggested she was really a Saxon named Winifred, and J. Markale has opined that Kay and Gawain were originally amongst her lovers.  Welsh tradition stated that Arthur was married, not to one, but to three Giuneveres.  Some have argued that Guinevere is a mythical figure, representing the sovereignty of Britain, over which contenders fight in this respect she is a parallel figure to Eriu, the goddess of the sovereignty of Ireland.  C. Matthew’s contends that this interpretation is supported by the legend of three Guineveres married to Arthur, saying these are not three separate persons but a single trine goddess.  J. Matthews contends that Guinevere and Morgan are like two sides of a coin, the beneficent and malevolent aspects of sovereignty.

Efforts to connect Guinevere with Findabair, daughter of the Irish goddess Maeve, have not proven successful.  Guinevere was very susceptible to being abducted and it has been suggested that her story is a parallel of the Irish story of Midir and Etain.  In this, Etain was once an otherworldly bride of Midir but she retains no memory of this fact and is now married to an Irish king.  Midir turns up to lure her back to the Otherworld.  Similarly, it is said, Guinevere’s abductor, be he Meleaguance or Lancelot, Gasozein or Valerin is meerly taking her back to the Otherworld whence she came.

We are told in the Mabinogion that Guinevere had a sister named Gwenhwyvachl in Frince romance that she had an identical half-sister who, for a while, took her place and in the German Diu Crone that she had a brother Goterin.

Guinevere as Goddess

She is the beautiful Goddess of the Land.  In myth, Arthur (The Holy king in the wheel of the year), vies with Lancelot (the Oak King), for Guinevere and the sovereignty of the land.  Goddess of love, growth and fertility, her dazzling, intoxicating charms wreak havoc in the world of men!  She holds an apple, the symbol of the giving and receiving of love, both physically and spiritually.  It also reflects her role as a Celtic triple Goddess.  Her name means “White One” – Fairie Goddess of the Old Ones.  Here we see her rising from the land surrounded by her sacred May blossoms.

King Arthur and the Goddess Tradition in Britain

The stories of the goddess were originally the closely guarded secret of the temple custodians.  These stories were, however, passed to the common people disguised as entertainment.  When they became part of the common folklore they were changed as people tried to make the goddess represented in the tales behave more like an ordinary person… for example if a story said that the goddess gave birth to such-and-such a god or nymph, then the later stories would provide her with a husband or a sexual encounter to explain this.  In this way, the myths soon became very tangled and when we unravel them we find that the goddess has married herself under different names, has given birth to herself several times, and even made war on herself under different names.

In later centuries, there was another reason to keep the goddess’s stories secret.  From the Greek times forward, the goddess religion was suppressed and forbidden, and to declare any expertise on the subject was to risk death.  This was the case in the middle ages in Britain where the tales were still told, but in forms which only the knowing would recognize, and with plentiful references to Christian piety in case the authorities got too close.  Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (partially The Miller’s Tale) and the Robin Hood stories are other examples, but the most revealing may be that of King Arthur.

The story of Arthur contains a full suite of the Celtic version of the goddess myths.  The principal story, that of the two kings representing the old and the new years, who content for the affections of the goddess, is given in the relationship of Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere.  Guinevere (whose name means Lady in White) is the goddess.  Arthur is the god of the old year, and when he goes away he is replaced by the god of the New Year, Lancelot.  This implies infidelity on Guinevere’s part and introduces a tension in our understanding – if she were an ordinary mortal, that is, and if this were an ordinary story about ordinary people.

Guinevere is not the only face of the goddess in this story.  Arthur is given his kingship by the Lady of the Lake (Nimue), who we may identify as being the goddess by her magical powers and her association with water.  When Arthur dies he is taken by three ladies (representing the Triple Goddess) in a boat (the tradition) to Avalon (the goddess’ apple isle, the traditional paradise reserved for heroes).  A mediterranean version of Arthur would have been taken instead to the Pleiades.

Merlin, the model for future wizards, is an echo of the Celtic high druid or ollave, a role first played by the high poets of the mediterranean goddess-temples.  As has been said above, the keepers of the original goddess stories were under an obligation to keep the stories both secret and unchanged.  This tradition was apparently still alive at the time of Sir Thomas Malory.  In his Death of King Arthur Malory rebukes other writers for having recorded the story.  He was referring to French authors who picked up the story from Welsh poets, who in turn had got it from the older Celtic bards.  Malory also takes care to fill his book with heapings of Christian camouflage.  When Arthur dies, Guinevere becomes a nun, and Lancelot a monk and so on.

Gwenhwyfar: The Cloud Who Would Be Queen

Name: Gwenhwyfar, Gwenhwyvar, Guenievre, Guenhumara, Jenefer, Ginevra and Guinevere.  The Welsh name comes from two words that mean either White/ Shining or Holy and Cloud/ Phantom/ Shadow or Smooth.  The best bet is either White Cloud or White Phantom but as others have speculated on the true meaning of the name – what’s to stop you from mixing and matching with other interpretations?

Symbols: Of the original Gwenhwyfar is hard to say.  The Guinevere that has come to us from more than a Round Table full of hands no doubt obscures most of what was the original Goddess.  We can hazard a guess and say, some of her symbols were such things as a cloud, crown, dog, and various symbols associated with triple goddesses.

Image: A very fair-skinned woman of preternatural beauty.

Relatives: Gogrvan or Ocvran or Ogrfan Gawr the Giant of Castell y Cnwclas (Father), Arthur (artviros ‘Bear Man’) Husband, Gwendydd, Gwenith, Gwynith, Gwyneth, Gweneth, Gynath, Gandieda, Catherina, Catarina (Sisters), Loholt (Son, though some say the son of Arthur & Lionors) and two unnamed sons with Mordred Arthur’s son was his half-sister Morgan.  And you thought the family relations on Angel were messed up.

Synodeities: Goddess of Sovereignty (Britain), Eriu (Ireland)

Details: No matter what has been made of Gwynhwfar over the years, and she has passed through dozens if not hundres of hands and minds.  At her start she was said to be a Goddess called White Cloud (or White Phantom, White Shadow, Shinning Cloud, etc.) who was a mischievous shape shifter, who from time to time found that she just could not help but incarnate as a human to mix in the affairs of mankind.  She would do this by entering a womb and being born as a human.

While that does seem to indicate that she might not have had the most noble of motivations (from a human viewpoint at least) she was not however portrayed as the adulteress at best and adulteress traitor at worst that we have today in her more well-known form of Queen Guinevere, wife of King Arthur.  This view first came from the 12th century writer Chretien de Troyes who was also the inventor of Sir Lancelot.

There are more than a few versions of the story of Arthur & Guinevere, with Welsh, British, Irish, German, French & modern takes on the story, the above is just one of them.  Today most think it is just the tale of a king and his queen and all the knights in shining armor stuff.  However, the myth from which that story grew is far older than that; taking place long before there were knights.  For one thing it was believed that Arthur had three queens, all of them named Guinevere (or variations of that name).   That this points to a Celtic triple Goddess is pretty easy conclusion to reach.  A good guess is that she is much like the other Goddess of Sovereignty found in Celtic myth; without whom a God-King cannot reach true power.  So just how did a fun-loving shape shifter out for just a bit of a lark among the humans become the embodiment of adulterous females?

I would guess that White Cloud is perhaps the true original origin of her name.  And like those who look at clouds and see bunnies, or monsters depending, not on the shape of the cloud but on the shape of their mind, the Guinevere that was born from that Gwynhwfar of long ago is still laughing at the things we humans get up to based on the smallest of things.

Ray Attributes: The Elohim of the Sixth Purple/ Indigo (and White) Ray of Idealism and Devotion which “stimulates all religious devotion and aspirations and prepares the thought of the World for the coming of the World Teacher.  The Sixth Ray is to empower, through Cosmic Justice, the one-pointedness and striving which enables humanity to persevere through every conceivable obstacle.”  The planetary attribution of the Sixth Ray is to Mars and so the day of its enhancement is Tuesday.

Historical & Mythical: Queen Guinevere as Gwenhwyvar, daughter of Leo de Grange of the Celtic Kingdom of Brittany, was betrothed to King Arthur, probably to form an allegiance between the Celts in Britain and mainland europe.  In Malory’s “Romances”, the famous “Round Table” was given to Arthur by Guinevere’s father as a wedding gift.  The table was then set up at the Court of Camiliard (Camelot), now thought to have been at Cadbury Castle at Somerset.  This is now a hill fort circumscribed by four ditch and bank lines.

The Celtic custom always attributed the Queen as representing the sovereignty aspect of the Triple Goddess, whose role was to uphold the correct alignment and balance in the land by upholding the rights of the people in accord with the traditions.  It was the break with these traditions by the Court of Arthur, in favor of a more Christianised Roman way, that led to the downfall by Mordred (Madoc), who championed the dark aspect of the Goddess or Morgan, the Keeper of the Old Ways.  The reputation of Guinevere (the light, fertility aspect of the Goddess) then, depended upon the success of the Grail Quest in order to restore the “Wasteland.”

Having successfully made Cadwaladyr (Cadwallader) into the High King of the Realms, Myrddin (Merlin) advises Cadwaladyr to return briefly to Amorica (Brittany) in order to forge a stronger alliance through marriage with the Celts of Europe.  He returns with Gwenhwyvar ferch Lleudd Eugfran (Guenevere, daughter of Llud) along with her handmaiden Niniane, who is of the Line of Avalon.  Gwenhwyvar is chosen because she is herself of the Sangreal Lineage.  She is a slight girl of around 15 years of age, with blonde hair and sharp Breton features.  Niniane, however, is also small in stature but with dark hair and dark eyes.

Cadwaladyr and Gwenhwyvar are married in the city of Venta Belgarum (Winchester) and the betrothal ceremony takes place upon the mound now known as “Chalk Hill.”  Cadwaladyr returns with his new Queen to the royal court above the White Horse (in a hill-fort now known as Uffington Castle).  Niniane accompanies her as handmaiden, although Myrddin’s prophecy forebodes ill:

Listen little pig!

Are not the thorn buds green

The mountain fair, the earth


I will predict the battle of Argoed Llewifain,

Bloody biers after Owain’s assault.

When stewards dispute,

When children are perjured,

when Cadwaladyr conquers

Mona –

Then the Saeson will be driven out!

Listen little pig!

Wonders there will be

in Prydain – but I shall not care.

When the people of Mona

Ask questios of the Brython,

That will be a troublesome time!

A superior lord will appear.

Cynan from the banks of the Twiwi.

Confusiton will follow –

But he shall have the music of Bards to follow (Myrddin)

(Note: Mona is the ancient name for what is now called The Isle of Anglesey,  Saeson means Saxon, and Brython means Briton.)

After some time in rulership and after the subsequent battles under Cadwaladyr, thye land has become safe and protected from the invading Saxons and a time of peace ensues.  The King of Gwynedd, Maelgwn, however, still refuses allegiance to Cadwaladyr and has stirred much anxiety and division amongst the Dragon Tribes, by accusing Cadwaladyr of upholding a military state and exacting unfair taxes.  Gwenhwyvar now feels enmity towards the Dragon Banner and all that it represents as she has taken to the new faith, being that of the New Religion (Christianity).  The High Queen calls a meeting of The Council and suggests that Cadwaladyr shoudl change his emblem from that of the Dragon.  Cadwaladyr is loath to do this because of the implications of his oath and kingmaking, to serve the people as Pendragon (“Son of the Dragon”) according to his lineage and heritage.

Lleminawg will come.

An ambitious man,

To subdue Mona,

To ruin Gwynedd.

From its borders to its heartland,

Its beginning to its end,

He will take its pledges.

Furious his face

Submitting to no-one,

Cymry or Saeson.


Following the abduction of the High Queen by Maelgwn and her safe return by Lleminawg, Cadwaladyr eventually submits to the will of his queen because following her ordeal, she now feels defiled by the Dragon.  Cadwaladyr changes his name to Arthur (Yr-Arth-Great Bear) and he also changes his banner to the Bear emblem.

Niniane (Nimue) returns from the “Priestess Isle” at Inis Witrin (Glastonbury) along with Medraut, Arthur’s illegitimate son by his half-sister Morgaine.  She returns to remind Arthur of his Oath to serve the Dragon as The Pendragon. Arthur learns that Medraut has already taken up allegiance with Magloculus against him if he does not hand over his sovereignty to his son Medraut as hereditary successor of The Dragon Line.

Niniane and Medraut are both banished from court, while Gwenhwyvar prepares an order of treason to be brought against them.  Taliesin leaves court with his partner Niniane, having argued with the High Queen to no avail concerning the treason charges brought against her.  Medraut returns to Maglocunus at Powys.  the latter has threatened to invade if Medraut is held captive by Arthur.

After the death of Arthur at the Battle of Camlanna, Lleminawg returns with his lover Gwenhwyvar to their homeland of Amorica (Brittany).  Gwenhwyvar, however, later joins hold orders and enters a nunnery to find some inner solace in face of her sorrowful past.

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