The Holy Grail
by Giles Morgan
From the PublisherThrough its various guises as magic cauldron, cornucopia, and chalice cup, the Holy Grail has remained at the center of popular culture since antiquity. An object of marvel and mystery, it inhabits a place in mythology that has its roots in historical fact. From Celtic mythology to the flowering of the medieval romances, it has in many ways fulfilled its mythical role as a nurturing and regenerative vessel by providing a rich, seemingly perpetual source of interest to writers and artists. Charting the story of the Grail offers a revealing insight into the cultural shift from Celtic paganism to the emergence and domination of Christianity in Western Europe; the influence of Eastern mysticism emerges in the Grail romances as a result of the medieval crusades, with its clash of cultures and subsequent cross-pollination of ideas. Finally, the Grail has come to symbolize the ultimate achievement in the modern mind, and Carl Jung, T.S. Eliot, Richard Wagner, William Blake, and the Pre-Raphaelites are just some of those who have fallen under its enduring spell.