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Comment: Copyright 2001, reprinted 2005, softcover, 172 pages. All pages are clean.
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Merlin and the Grail (Arthurian Studies) Paperback – January 17, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Arthurian Studies
  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: BOYE6 (January 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0859917797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0859917797
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A trilogy of romances establishing a provenance for the Holy Grail and, through Merlin, linking Joseph of Arimathea with mythical British history and the knightly adventures of Perceval's Grail quest.

About the Author

NIGEL BRYANT is head of drama at Marlborough College. He has also provided editions in English of the anonymous thirteenth-century romance Perlesvaus, published as The High Book of the Grail, and Chretien's Perceval: The Story of the Grail.

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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Ian M. Slater TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 30, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A cycle of three -- or, by some counts, four -- Arthurian romances attributed to the poet Robert de Boron (or Borron) is of exceptional importance. It seems to have provided the model for the later Vulgate Cycle, which includes "Lancelot" and "The Quest of the Holy Grail," and its successors, including Thomas Malory''s "Le Morte D'Arthur." Obviously, everyone seriously interested in Arthurian literature will have read it. Wrong. Very wrong.

To begin with, there is, unfortunately, direct manuscript evidence for only "Joseph of Arimathea" (the early history of the Grail) and the opening of "Merlin" in verse. What we have for the whole cycle, concluding with "Perceval" (the Grail Quest), and "The Death of Arthur" (as either the conclusion of "Perceval" or a short continuation of the cycle), is a prose redaction. The relationship of this to the work of the original poet in its later portions is uncertain -- assuming that there was a complete version in verse.

The prose retelling exists in a variety of manuscripts, only two of which (known as Modena and Didot, the latter famous but textually corrupt) contain the whole collection, and they otherwise differ among themselves. There have been a number of editions of the medieval French texts, based on different manuscripts and editorial principles, so even those with a good reading knowledge of Old French have not necessarily read the same book.

For those of us who read only English (at least with any fluency), there has been only the last section, as "The Romance of Perceval in Prose: A Translation of the E Manuscript of the Didot Perceval" by Dell Skeels, published by University of Washington Press in 1961. It was once available in paperback (1966 printing), but is long out of print.
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