- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial (July 6, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060922044
- ISBN-13: 978-0060922047
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,106,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Holy Grail Paperback – July 6, 1993
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From Library Journal
The author of three Arthurian-related books-- King Arthur ( LJ 2/1/86), Merlin ( LJ 1/87), and Guinevere ( LJ 4/1/91)--claims here to "trace the history and legend of the Holy Grail . . . to bring us the true, historical facts of the matter." Basing her argument on careful reading of translated 12th- and 13th-century French manuscripts, plus a unique interpretation of mythology, Goodrich contends that the grail is "a group of objects and phenomena associated with an early Christian worship" and that King Arthur was the first of the grail questers. She assumes readers know and accept her previous theories about the historicity of Arthur, Merlin, and Guinevere, which makes many points difficult to follow. In addition, her prose is often disjointed and confusing. For large collections in Arthurian literature where scholars need to review the latest.
- Pamela A. Grudzien, Central Michigan Univ., Mt. Pleasant
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Exploring 2000 years of Christian, Hebraic, Celtic, and academic lore, Goodrich brings to her own quest for the Grail that same successful combination of learning, common sense, energy, and romance that distinguished her Guinevere (1991) and Merlin (1987). From the ``marvelously mysterious'' surviving Grail tests, most written in Old French during the 12th and 13th centuries in Wales, France, Germany, and Spain, Goodrich traces a history of belief in the Grail--an ``awful and terrible mystery'' variously conceived as a chalice (perhaps containing Christ's blood), a silver platter, a reliquary, a sword, a spear, or a book by Jesus, Solomon, or any of the Apostles. Allegedly rescued from Jerusalem in A.D. 700, the Grail apparently appeared in Marseilles, where it is still honored in ceremonies at the Church of the Saints Marie; in Scotland, at Glastonbury, as an integral part of the Arthurian legends; in Spain, where it appears in the writings of Cervantes and St. Teresa and is associated with the cathedral at Valencia; and in Germany, where Wolfram von Eschenbach immortalized it in Parzival, Wagner revived it in Parsifal, and Hitler supposedly worshiped it as an affirmation of his power. In whatever form, country, or period, the Grail always appears, Goodrich contends, in times of war, religious bigotry, and the persecution of women and children, offering an aristocratic version of peace, spirituality, and female power. The rituals, castles, and queens associated with it; the experiences of hallucination, blindness, and confusion in its presence; and the elevation of women around it--these recur in all Grail texts except Wagner's, making the association that Goodrich draws to Hitler (based partly on her firsthand observations of Nazi symbols) seem strained. Refuting contemporary scholars, Goodrich argues convincingly for the historicity of many of the legends, particularly the Arthurian, and for the power of the Grail as, if not a fact, then a necessary illusion. A reading adventure. (Ten line drawings.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Overall, I'd rate it 4+; barely missed being a 5, because I think there IS a place for humor, even scholarly humor, in anything & everything.
This work, when it was in print, was so thinly concieved I had to put it down. It was full of convoluted phrasing, chatty conjecture, and sloppy thinking. It took paragraphs for NLG to express one simple thought. I rued the money I had spent on it, duck-taped the spine, and retitled it "Mal Gral".
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