Variously portrayed in literature, she is called the daughter of King Leodegrance of Cameliard by Malory, the daughter of King Garlin of Galore by Welsh tradition, the daughter of a Roman noble by Geoffrey of Monmouth and wife of King Arthur by everyone.

Her name is spelled differently depending on where you look. It can be either the traditional Guinevere, or Guenevere, or Guenievre, or Gwenhwyfar, or Guenhumare or Ginevra.

In all cases, she is surpassingly beautiful and desirable, if morally lax. She is either forced into or conceives and engineers an extra-marital relationship with Lancelot and is either condemned, according to law, or forgiven outright for her sins.

She either was a willing accomplice to Mordred's treachery against Arthur, as suggested in Wace and Layamon, or was forced into it against her will as stated in John Hardyng's "Chronicle" (1457). She is frequently abducted, sometimes by King Melwas of Somerset, sometimes by Mordred and sometimes by the marauding tribes from the north. She meets her end sometimes in a convent at Amesbury, sometimes as a prisoner of the Picts and sometimes she dies at the vengeful hand of Lancelot.

Her bones either were or were not found by the monks of Glastonbury when they discovered the grave of Arthur in 1191, depending upon which version of the burial cross inscription you read.

Whatever Guinevere was or was not, she has been a useful tool in the hands of the romancers throughout the centuries and has greatly enhanced the legends of King Arthur.

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