Author Sarah Luddington has come under attack from a barrage of homophobic hatred following the release of her Arthurian fantasy series, The Knights of Camelot, in which the main protagonist is bisexual.
The first book in the series, Lancelot and The Wolf, recently became part of a free promotion on Amazon Kindle and stormed the charts. However, what followed appears to be a concerted campaign of homophobic reviews and a stream of hate emails. Homophobic reviewers have described it as "Twisted," "Perverted" and "Disgusting." This level of gay hatred is highly significant in that it comes just at a time when the campaign for same sex marriage is finally gaining ground.
A flurry of One-Star reviews on the Amazon U.S. site first alerted publishers Mirador that there may be a problem. On investigation it was discovered that the reviews all came within a few days and that the tone was similar with a pronounced right-wing, anti-gay bias. Shortly afterwards the hate emails started, coming into both the publisher's offices and to Sarah Luddington personally.
"Initially I was surprised by the venom directed toward my books," Sarah said. "But as it went on I found it became quite distressing. It seems one can write about pretty much anything these days but to infer that King Arthur and Lancelot were lovers is tantamount to flag burning."
Sarah alerted Amazon to the problem who promised to investigate and remove any reviews which do not conform to their guidelines.
Lancelot and The Wolf is the first in a series of books featuring the sexually ambivalent knight and is published by Mirador Publishing in the UK. As a response to the trail of homophobia it has created, Sarah has just released a Special Edition of the novel and is donating her royalties to the gay charity Stonewall.
Sarah, a medieval historian as well as a successful novelist, started on the series after years of studying the earlier source material of Mallory and Chretien de Troyes.
"People seemed outraged that I could suggest that King Arthur and Lancelot were in a gay relationship," continued Sarah. "Yet when one looks more deeply into the original legends the undercurrent is clearly there. There had to be more to that love triangle than the simple infidelity of Guinevere."
The Knights of Camelot series is available in all good bookshops and online stores both as paperback and in all popular e-book formats.
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