Goddess and Grail

The Battle for King Arthur’s Promised Land

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About the Book

The early chroniclers of Britain presented the island as the promised land of the Roman goddess Diana. Later, when the story of Arthur was transformed by Christian mythology, a new literary concept of the island was promoted: the promised land of the Holy Grail. As the feminine enchantment of the Goddess gave way to the masculine crusade of the Grail Quest, the otherworld realms of the fays or fairy women were denigrated in favor of the heavenly afterlife. The dualism of the medieval authors was challenged by modern writers such as Blake and Tolkien. This book explores the conflict between Goddess and Grail—a rift less about paganism versus Christianity than about religious literalism versus spiritual imagination.

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 (6 x 9)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6866-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2928-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface  1
Introduction—The Other World of the Gods  5
Prologue—From Eden to Albion  15

Part 1. Mythological Roots  19
One: A Mighty Goddess  20
Two: The Lady of the Rings  31
Three: The Otherworld Bride  44
Four: Fate and Faerie  58
Five: A Woman’s Wiles  69
Six: The View from Fortune’s Wheel  87

Interlude • The Deceitful Savior  98

Part 2. Realms of Symbolism  123
Seven: By This Sign, Conquer  124
Eight: The Prophet of the Grail  137
Nine: Moon Magic  153
Ten: The Marvels of the Holy Grail  171
Eleven: Mountains of Heresy  186
Twelve: An End to Adventures?  203

Epilogue—From Albion to Avalon  223
Appendix—Tolkien’s Lonely Isle  231
Chapter Notes  239
Bibliography  247
Index  253