Encyclopedia of the Holy Grail


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About the Book

In the twelfth century, a French poet wrote a verse romance about a young knight who witnesses a mysterious procession centered on a radiant vessel, a “grail.” Left unfinished, the poem inspired other writers of prose and verse, until the story was completely rewritten into the Arthurian romances, in which the vessel becomes a relic of the Last Supper, the Holy Grail. For hundreds of years, the Grail story has haunted the western imagination. But the original medieval texts are full of inconsistencies, as different writers attempted to complete the story in varied ways. This encyclopedia illuminates a path through the Perilous Forest of literature and legend. Entries summarize the stories of the principal characters, sacred objects and places associated with the Grail. An Afterword shows how mysteries of the grail continue to enchant the scholars and creative writers who have transformed the medieval legend into modern mythology.

About the Author(s)

Jeffrey John Dixon, after studying English literature at Sussex University, travelled widely and now lives and writes in Powys, United Kingdom.

Bibliographic Details

Jeffrey John Dixon

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 336
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8794-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4809-5
Imprint: McFarland
Series: McFarland Myth and Legend Encyclopedias

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction: THE ABSENT PATH 3
The Encyclopedia 13
Afterword: Higher Mysteries: Grail Initiation as Twentieth Century Mythology 277
Appendix I: The Grail Chronology 309
Appendix II: The Medieval Grail Literature 312
Appendix III: The Company of the Grail: Some Twentieth Century Writers 319
Bibliography 321
Index 327