Evangeline Walton, award-winning author of the beloved Mabinogion tetralogy, was born 113 years ago

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Born November 24, 1907, Evangeline Walton penned most of her writings in the 1920s through 1950s. During that period, she saw only three books get published: The Virgin and the Swine (1936; the first of the Mabinogion tetralogy), Witch House (1945; the first novel published by Arkham House), and The Sword Is Forged (1956). Though all three books, especially The Virgin and the Swine, were wildly praised, the sales were poor.

Walton faded into relative obscurity until The Virgin and the Swine was reissued in 1970 as The Island of the Mighty for Ballantine’s Adult Fantasy series. The rest of the Mabinogion (The Children of Llyr [1971], The Song of Rhiannon [1972], Prince of Annwn [1974]) soon followed. The first volume of a trilogy that was completed in the 1940s, The Sword is Forged came out in 1983. The remaining two books have never been published. Since the rediscovery, Walton was acclaimed and received Mythopoeic, Leiber, and Locus awards and was honored with a World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Treated as a child with silver nitrate tincture for frequent bronchitis and severe sinus infections, Walton absorbed the pigment of the tincture causing her extremely fair skin to turn gray and darken as she aged. By the time she became well known in the 1970s, her blue-gray skin made her appearance exotic.

After her death in 1996, Walton’s collection of stories, Above Ker-Is and Other Stories (2012), and another of her unpublished novels, SHE WALKS IN DARKNESS (2013), have seen print.