The work of author Sarah Luddington has been subjected to homophobic abuse via online reviews of her Arthurian fantasy series, The Knights of Camelot, in which the hero is bisexual.
The first book in the series, Lancelot and The Wolf, recently promoted on Amazon Kindle, attracted a string of homophobic reviews and a stream of personal hate emails to the author. Some of the reviews described the book as “twisted,” “perverted” and “disgusting.”
Luddington’s UK publishers, Mirador, said that they noticed a pattern in the one-star reviews that appeared on Amazon’s US site.
On investigation, it was discovered that the reviews were all written and posted within a few days of each other and that the tone was similar with a pronounced right-wing, anti-LGBT bias.
Not long afterwards, Mirador said both they and Ms Luddington herself began receiving hate emails.
The author said: “Initially I was [only] surprised by the venom directed toward my books. But as it went on I found it became quite distressing. It seems one can write about pretty much anything these days but to infer that King Arthur and Lancelot were lovers is tantamount to flag burning.”
Amazon were notified and promised to investigate and remove any reviews which did not conform to their guidelines.
Lancelot and The Wolf is the first in a series of Ms Luddington’s Medieval fantasy novels. She said: “People seemed outraged that I could suggest that King Arthur and Lancelot were in a gay relationship.
“Yet when one looks more deeply into the original legends the undercurrent is clearly there. There had to be more to that love triangle than the simple infidelity of Guinevere.”