A gallery talk by acclaimed Arthurian author John Matthews
The Faerie Land Exhibition
Royal Geographical Society
1 Kensington Gore
London SW7 2AR
As part of our continuing celebration of the poet Michael Drayton (1563-1631) and his epic poem of British myth and landscape, Poly-Olbion, John Matthews, acclaimed author and expert in myth and Arthurian literature, will be give a talk on Gog and Magog, the mysterious giants who once protected these isles and who still lead the Lord Mayor’s Procession though London every year. Their history goes back into a distant mythic past, but they can be traced through the centuries as archetypes whose power can still move us today.
Drayton’s Poly-Olbion includes several passages about the giant, notably in Song I, where Gogmagog fights the Trojan general, Corineus. The exhibition also features several works inspired by their folklore, including Charles Newington’s sketches for new chalk figures of the giants at Plymouth Hoe.