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No Cloak, No Dagger
Cowburn, Benjamin
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Troyes, Cretien - Legends of the Grail - ( Item 130491 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2007. First Thus. Fine Quarter-Leather Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Quarter-Leather Hardback. Cloth sides blocked & printed with a design by Simon Brett. Set in Ehrhardt. Approx. 576 pages with 16 engravings. From religious icon to the object of chivalric quest and, in our own time, as secular goal, the Holy Grail has come to symbolise spiritual yearning, the everlasting search for the unattainable, where true virtue is found in the act of questing itself. When Chretien de Troyes wrote his romance of a callow young knight, the mysterious golden vessel adorned with jewels was a vision, a spur to begin Perceval's journey to maturity and honour. Whether he created the entire idea or was building on folk tales, Chretien died before he could finish his story, breaking off just as Perceval fails to save the Fisher King because he cannot understand the Grail's meaning. This image flared in the imagination of the medieval world and later writers embroidered, re-wrote and expanded the idea, connecting the heavenly vision with the cup in which Joseph of Arimathea was believed to have caught the blood that flowed from the crucified Christ. The Grail gave spiritual significance to the chivalric ideal of the medieval romances - King Arthur's knights were no longer merely great champions or even passionate and honourable lovers of their fair ladies, they also had a quest, a search for something beyond the physical realities of the world. This book collects the five great medieval masterpieces, simply re-told in elegant modernisations. From Chretien de Troyes to Malory, the romances tell of Perceval, Gawain, Lancelot and Galahad in their quests for 'Sangraal', while Simon Brett's engravings add a touch of court pageantry with their flavour of Aubrey Beardsley's famous Morte D'Arthur illustrations. From romance poems to conspiracy theories, Pre-Raphaelite painting to Hollywood films, the Grail stories have lost none of their power to enthral.

Price 51.90 (inc UK postage)                 Other items you may like                 Others by the same author

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