Marion Zimmer Bradley. I've been trying to remember the first fantasy or sci-fi book I ever read, (excluding things like the Oz books.) Maybe it was The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald. Maybe it was one of the Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Those books led to other books like Level 7 and A Clockwork Orange. Then I read Lord of the Rings. In my mind, nothing can top Tolkien, but a close second is Marion Zimmer Bradley. I read a lot of her stuff in the 1970s. One Darkover novel followed another. I liked how I didn't have to read the series in any particular order. I have not read all of them. She was a prolific writer. Then I was blown away by The Mists of Avalon, the Arthurian legend told from the women's point of view. It was my mother who turned me on to the book to me.
Marion is credited with being the inspiration behind the establishment of the Society of Creative Anachronism. Many years ago I spent a week-end with a SCA group. I wasn't a member and didn't have a costume, but the women dressed me up and gave me a name (can't remember what it was.) There was jousting, and sword play, and a pig roasting on a fire, and mead flowing. It was great fun.
I was only able to find a few quotes by her. They will have to do. The best thing of course would be to go out and read her stuff. She died in 1999 at the age of 69.
"Speak not against anyone whose burden you have not weighed yourself."
"It has never been, and never will be, easy work! But the road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination."
"Some knowledge and some song and some beauty must be kept for those days before the world again plunges into darkness."
"There is no such thing as a true tale. Truth has many faces and the truth is like to the old road to Avalon; it depends on your own will, and your own thoughts, whither the road will take you."