Christabel Released

After Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 'Christabel'

Free Christabel!

Beset by snake-demoness Geraldine, abandoned to her fate 200 years ago by that confused and cruel Mr Coleridge in some opium-dazed nightmare - is she doomed to languish forever in a ghastly limbo, howling for her demon lover? What did bard Bracy's dream of an emerald-green snake betoken? Why did Christabel's sire, Sir Leoline of Langdale Hall, and his bosom companion, Sir Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine Castle - that castle nigh on Hadrian's Wall 'which stands and threatens Scotland's wastes' - why did they fall out? Tryermaine Castle, now Triermain Castle, still stands today, oh yes it does. I've been there, seen it, done it, got the stone to show it.

During a residency some years back with the Quantocks AONB (the people who look after these haunted hills) I encountered Christabel at midnight at the winter equinox at the Lady Well spring emerging from between the roots of an ash tree 'neath Dowsborough Iron Age Fort deep in the Quantocks. She begged me to release her from her bondage. What could I do? What could I not do? I listened to her, and to all of Mr Coleridge Esq's cast of characters ... and let them dictate to me what became of them.

The resulting epic Gothic ballad I have called CHRISTABEL RELEASED. It contains all of Coleridge's original text (he wrote 2 parts and 'a Conclusion'; I have split his 2 parts into 4 and stuck my conclusion at the end, where it belongs), to make up 28% of Christabel Released, the rest - in 16 Parts - being my own original work, making up the rest (72%).

The work is newly available on CDBaby and on Bandcamp (DOWNLOAD BELOW). You can download individual tracks and/or the whole 'album' as well as a free commentary and a plot (if you must...)((Bandcamp: £0.99/Track or £7.50 for the whole work, both minimums. If you think it's worth it why, pay more!).

I have made the whole of one track, Christabel's Dream, available as a free download for you to keep.

"Brighter then, and brighter as it seemed
Shone the spectre, as Geraldine screamed
‘Mercy, have mercy upon me, mother mild
‘Twas not my wish to besiege thy child!’ ...


Christabel cover pic1


Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In which Christabel, innocent daughter of Sir Leoline of Langdale Hall, discovers a gentle maid all forlorn alone in the midnight wood and succours her

In which Christabel smuggles Geraldine into the castle and is demonically seduced

In which Christabel is wildered and that snake in the bosom, Geraldine – ‘sword-bearer’ from the Germanic – wiles her way into Sir Leoline’s affections

In which the ensorcelled Christabel is spurned by her sire, Bracy the bard has a dream and is entrusted with a Mission

Ralph Hoyte

In which Bracy the bard spurs northwards to Sir Roland de Vaux’s redoubt of Tryermaine Castle, nigh on Hadrian’s Wall, and is met with a Surprise

Part VI
In which Christabel’s mind is mazed, Bracy is incarcerated and Sir Leoline is up to something

Part VII
In which bard Bracy’s fate is decided

In which Christabel has a dream

In which Sir Roland de Vaux makes a decision

In which Sir Leoline and Geraldine promenade

In which Christabel seems about ‘to do an Ophelia’ and her mother reappears from the Dead

In which something (nasty) happens to the mastiff bitch and Geraldine is forced to show her hand (or scales)

In which Bracy returns

Part XIV
In which we find out whether or not Geraldine is really his daughter (perhaps), and things take Quite A Turn at the banquet

Part XV
In which Christabel takes to the Midnight Wood and discovers something about herself

Part XVI
In which the hunt rides

In which Christabel lies dying (perhaps) and we find out who Geraldine really is

In which All May Be Dead and All May Be Lost

Part XIX
In which bard Bracy petitions the gods

Part XX
The Conclusion to Christabel

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