Here is the most important truth of all, a response to Moira Greyland’s concerns and her reason for keeping silent for so long.
She is quoted in a Guardian article thus:
Greyland, writing to the Guardian via email, said that she had not spoken out before “because I thought that my mother’s fans would be angry with me for saying anything against someone who had championed women’s rights and made so many of them feel differently about themselves and their lives. I didn’t want to hurt anyone she had helped, so I just kept my mouth shut”.
I’m not angry at Moira Greyland. I’m not even mildly miffed. What I feel is sorrow that any fanbase could silence someone with something so valid to say. So no, I won’t be targeting any victims here. The only target I have for any investigation I do personally is Mrs Bradley herself.
Greyland, a harpist, singer and opera director, said it was now clear to her that “one reason I never said anything is that I regarded her life as being more important than mine: her fame more important, and assuredly the comfort of her fans as more important. Those who knew me, knew the truth about her, but beyond that, it did not matter what she had done to me, as long as her work and her reputation continued.”
Not. To. Me.
It matters enough to me that I am reexamining favorite stories: do I keep them? Do I take what doesn’t hurt from them and move on? Do I create something I can love in their place? How do I thank the work for its help without invalidating the struggles of Mrs Bradley’s victims? Acknowledgement of harm is in there, I know. If your favorites are problematic, you can’t just sweep that under the rug. Yet problematic seems such a weak word for abuse on par with Woody Allen or Roman Polanski. (And both of them still have defenders!)
This is a work in progress. It will be for some time to come. But I thought these words were important enough to rush out. The truth is important. This is at the core of why I’m examining the ideas and culture presented within the Darkover text: because context matters. I’m not sure how true “death of the author” really is — we all have context and we write what we know. What does Darkover say about Mrs Bradley? What does Mrs Bradley say about themes later found in Darkover? And what do other people say about Mrs Bradley and her circle?