Marion Zimmer Bradley was born in Albany, NY and lived for many years in Berkeley, CA. Best known as a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and romantic occult fiction, Bradley was also the editor of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine and many anthologies. Her most famous works include the Darkover series of science fiction novels and the New York Times bestselling The Mists of Avalon. Bradley's romantic, magical, contemporary novels for Tor include The Inheritor, Heartlight, Ghostlight, and Witch Hill. Marion Zimmer Bradley died in 1999.
Excerpt from book:
WHAT IS TRUTH?
Beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies.
NORTH OF NEW YORK CITY, ALONG THE EDGE OF THE Hudson River, there is a small estate lying between the railroad tracks of Metro North and the broad expanse of the river. Its main building was once a cider mill, and the mill--as well as the descendants of the original orchard--still occupies the site. Brick walkways cross the gently rolling lawns, and there is a yearly battle between the students and the deer for the produce of the trees.
Later buildings in the exuberantly classical Federalist mode complete the campus, but there has been no new construction on the campus for nearly a century. Its architectural conservatism makes the place so much the perfect image of an eighteenth-century college that the Dean must very firmly discourage the advances of several movie companies every year who wish to film here, but Taghkanic College guards its privacy--and that of its students and faculty--in the same stern fashion it always has.
In 1714 Taghkanic College was founded to provide education to the local Indians, mostly members of the Taghkanic and Lenape tribes, and to the free Blacks who had also settled in the area. Existing to this day on the terms of its original charter, Taghkanic College has never accepted one penny of government support to cover its operating costs, choosing to remain independent first from Crown and royal governor and later from the representatives of the fledgling United States.
Adherence to this policy has led, over the years, to a liberalization of its admission policies: In 1762 Taghkanic College opened its doors to "alle younge gentillmen of goode familie," and in 1816 to women, making Taghkanic one of the first institutions of higher learning in the United States to do so.
Even with such broad admission policies, Taghkanic College would not exist today save for two individuals: Margaret Beresford Bidney and Colin MacLaren.
Miss Bidney graduated Taghkanic College in the same year that the Insurrection of the Southern States turned her father's comfortable fortune into a large one. She never married, and in the last years of her life she was a disciple of William Seabrook, noted occultist.
It was perhaps inevitable that Miss Bidney's fortune should go to fund, at the college of her matriculation, what grew to become the Margaret Beresford Bidney Memorial Psychic Science Research Laboratory at Taghkanic College.
From its inception, the laboratory--or, as it came informally to be known, the Bidney Institute--was funded independently of the college through the endowment fund created by the Bidney Bequest. The trustees of the college had been attempting to claim the entire Bidney Bequest on behalf of Taghkanic College for more than fifty years and were on the verge of success when Colin MacLaren accepted an appointment as director of the Institute.
Dr. MacLaren had been known in parapsychological circl
"Shivery [with] quite a few surprises."—The San Francisco Chronicle
"Fascinating . . . Bradley's tales may not begin 'Once upon a time...' but they have that ambiance, the suspension of disbelief, the immersion in story which is the hallmark of all good [fairy tales]. Ghostlight is no exception." --Rockland Courier-Gazette