The High History of the Holy Grail

9781522819110: The High History of the Holy Grail
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The High History of the Holy Grail, or Perlesvaus, is an Old French Arthurian romance dating to the first decade of the 13th century. It purports to be a continuation of Chrétien de Troyes unfinished Perceval, the Story of the Grail, but it has been called the least canonical Arthurian tale because of its striking differences from other versions. It survives in three manuscripts, two fragments, and two 16th-century printings.Perlesvaus begins by explaining that its main character, Percival, did not fulfill his destiny of achieving the Holy Grail because he failed to ask the Fisher King the question that would heal him, events related in Chrétien's work. The author soon digresses into the adventures of knights like Lancelot and Gawain, many of which have no analogue in other Arthurian literature. Nothing is known of the author, but the strangeness of the text and some personal comments led Roger Sherman Loomis to call him "deranged"; similarly the editor of a French Arthurian anthology including extracts from the work notes an obsession with decapitation.

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About the Author:

British poet and medievalist SEBASTIAN EVANS (1830-1909) also wrote Brother Fabian's Manuscripts.

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