steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

More child-lit puzzles...

This time it's Lucy Boston's The Children of Green Knowe that's got me scratching my head. In the chapter 'Alexander's Story', three children visit a church - the date being the early 1660s. Linnet, the young girl, exclaims at its beauty: 'It's one of Merlin's palaces.' In response, her brother thinks to himself: 'But it's not Merlin's cheating castle... Its name should be Joyous Gard.'

So - where does Merlin get the reputation for creating 'cheating castles'? And where could three children from the 1660s have come across such a story? Celtic and Arthurian myth has quite a few deceptive castles, and I seem to remember one in Ariosto too, but none associated with Merlin. Probably I'm missing something quite obvious...
Tags: books
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