"His (Merlin's) dearest pupil... whose name was either Niniane or Vivian... (and) who was in her lifetime honored by the title "Lady of the Lake," has generally been dismissed as 'wily Vivian," just as King Arthur's learned and royal half sister, Queen Morgan, has been scorned as "Fay," or Fate, or crazy."-- Norma Lorre Goodrich, Merlin, New York, 1988
"Three medieval texts speak of her (Morgan) as a goddess... (she) is also related to the many, frequently nameless lake fairies of modern Welsh folklore."-- entry for "Morgan le Fay," by Roger S Loomis, in Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend, New York, 1972
"Vivien or Vivian: The name given by Tennyson and Mathew Arnold to the enchantress who beguiled Merlin...(her name) appears in the French manuscripts in many forms... (such as) Nyneue or Nymue. She was identifified with the Lady of the Lake... and the fairy lady Rhiannon..."-- entry for "Vivian," by R Roger S Loomis, in Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend, New York, 1972
"As for Morgen, she was one of the characters with a clearly divine origin, recognized even in the Middle Ages. She began as the Celtic goddess Matrona, who became Modron in Welsh. Touches of an Irish goddess were added to her, so that she too was a composite. Geoffrey (of Monmouth) made her a healer, heading a benevolent sisterhood, and nursing Arthur after his last battle. In romance, however, the hardening of (religious) orthodoxy gradually told. As an enchantress she simply could not be good. She became a malicious witch, ensnaring knights, and mischief-making at Arthur's court."-- Geoffrey Ashe, The Discovery of King Arthur, New York, 1985
"Morgan (le Faye) in Irish legend is 'the Morrigan', meaning "Great Queen"... Robert Graves, The White Goddess, New York, 1948
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Note: Information for this essay is taken primarily from readily available sources such as Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, and almanacs. When other sources are employed they are credited either in the text or as follows: none. All photographs are taken from Wikipedia or Google Images without source or authorship credits available, except as noted: Unidentified artist's undated print of the Lady of the Lake from David Nash Ford, Early British Kingdoms