Where Are the Horses?

The Equine Trope in Anne Mccaffrey’s "Black Horses For The King"





Animal trope, Anne McCaffrey, Arthurian Romance, Contemporary Irish fiction, Ethical encounters, Horses, Re-writing


Mario Ortiz Robles argues that non-human animals are reduced to tropes in literature, lacking a material referent (2016: 21) and thus facilitating their systematic exploitation (Adams 2010: 69). One type of literature in which the other-than-human has traditionally been present but marginalised is Arthurian romance. During the Arthurian revival (1980s-1990s), we find Anne McCaffrey’s Black Horses for the King (1998), a text that attempts to rewrite this myth and pay homage to the equines of the genre. My aim, therefore, is to discern whether McCaffrey’s focus on horses suffices to resist their exploitation as symbols within the anthropocentric and often dualistic Arthurian tradition. Additionally, I scrutinise whether the human/non-human dualism also reinforces, and is reinforced by, the Christian/Pagan difference.


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How to Cite

Roldán Romero, V. (2023). Where Are the Horses? The Equine Trope in Anne Mccaffrey’s "Black Horses For The King". Journal of English Studies, 21, 133–152. https://doi.org/10.18172/jes.5585