The Holy Grail, as created and conceived by Chretien de Troyes in the late 12th century, had no obvious religious or Christian connotations but appeared in a story of chivalric adventure involving the knight Perceval. By the medieval period the Grail was to be found at the centre of the Christian church, within its liturgy and art. This superb book tells the history of the Grail from its origins in romance literature to its role as a central object of the Christian faith, its decline during the Reformation and its resurgance in recent years, devoid of its religious connotations. The intricacies and complexities of its meaning throughout history are explored in detail, especially its links with Joseph of Arimathea, with Christ's blood and the Last Supper, its power as a restorer and sustainer of life, and its mysticism in general. Whether a dish, bowl, vessel or chalice, the Grail became an exciting topic for later writers and theologians to explore and utilise, and Richard Barber suggests why this was the case. Well written, detailed and thoroughly absorbing, this is an excellent book.
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Richard Barber is one of Britain's leading authorities on medieval history and the author of The Penguin Guide to Medieval Europe and The Knight and Chivalry.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
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Book Description Harvard University Press, Cambridge (MA) & London (UK), 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st American Edition. New hardcover, 1st American edition, 1st printing (unstated), new mylar-protected jacket displaying a full-color reproduction of detail from "The achievement of Sir Galahad accompanied by Sir Bors & Sir Perceval" from the series "The Quest for the Holy Grail" (tapestry, 1894) by Edward Burne-Jones, new ecclesiastical-purple library-durable linen-over-boards cover w/ sharp new edges & corners & w/ titles in handsomely-bold gilt-stamp on spine, immaculate smooth-cut text-block exterior, immaculate end-papers on heavy stock, new binding w/ tight sewn signatures & crimson silk bands at spine-caps, pristine interior handsomely printed on very good unblemished paper * 6.25 x 9.50" x 1.62", 0.80 kg, xvi+464 (480) pp. * 8 superb full-color illustration presented in 8 pp. section on gloss laminated stock insert following p. 241 * list of illustrations (ix), acknowledgments (xiii), a note on names (xv), introduction (1), epilogue (367) * Appendices: 1. The Major Grail Romances, 1180-1250 (373), 2. Visual Images Relating to the Medieval Grail Stories (374), 3. Theological Terms Used in the Text (378), 4. Use of the Term 'Holy Grail' in Major Newspapers, 1978-2002 (380) * bibliography (381), abbreviations (412), notes (414), Index (441-464) * The elusive image of the Holy Grail has haunted the Western imagination for 8 centuries. It represents the ideal of an unattainable yet infinitely desirable goal, the possibility of perfection. Initially conceived in literature, it became a Christian icon which has been re-created in a multitude of forms over time even though the Grail has no specific material attributes or true religious significance. * Richard Barber traces the history of the legends surrounding the Holy Grail, beginning with Chrétien de Troyes's great romances of the 12th century & the medieval Church's religious version of the secular ideal. He pursues the myths through Victorian obsessions & enthusiasms to the popular bestsellers of the late 20th century that have embraced its mysteries. Crisscrossing the borders of fiction & spirituality, the quest for the Holy Grail has long attracted writers, artists & admirers of the esoteric. It has been a recurrent theme in tales of imagination & belief which have laid claim to the highest religious & secular ideals & experiences. From Lancelot to Parsifal, chivalric romances to Wagner's Ring, T. S. Eliot to Monty Python, the Grail has fascinated & lured the Western imagination from beyond the reach of the ordinary world. / Richard Barber is one of Britain's leading authorities on medieval history & the author of "The Penguin Guide to Medieval Europe" & "The Knight and Chivalry". Bookseller Inventory # 004969
Book Description Harvard University Press, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0674013905
Book Description Harvard University Press, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New/New. signed by author, 9.6x6 488 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 51712
Book Description Harvard University Press, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110674013905
Book Description Harvard University Press, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st U. S.. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0674013905