IN QUEST OF THE HOLY GRAIL: An Introduction to the Study of the Legend, was published in London in 1898.
It is Inscribed: TO MY FELLOW WORKERS, ENGLISH AND FOREIGN, IN THE FIELD OF THE GRAIL.
The Publisher has copy-edited this book to improve the formatting, style and accuracy of the text to make it readable. This did not involve changing the substance of the text.
Chapter I. Perceval ---- Chapter II. Gawain ---- Chapter III. King Fisherman ---- Chapter IV. Elucidation ---- Chapter V. The Curse of Logres ---- Chapter VI. Arthur ---- Chapter VII. Dates
.....A MYSTERY from the first has enshrouded the Legend of the Grail. That the Grail was intended in some way to typify the Sacrament of the Holy Communion is abundantly clear from a thousand passages in the various versions of the story. All beyond this primary indication is indefinite, shadowy, impalpable. Yet we feel as we read that the words employed are intended to convey some deeper meaning than the fiction bears on the face of it. The romance is more than a romance. It is also a secret written in cipher. Its mysticism is as marked as its mystery. Throughout, there is a continual suggestion of hidden meanings, a recurrent insistence on things seen as types and symbols of things unseen. When Malory tells us that, 'thistory of the Sancgreal is cronycled for one of the truest and the holiset that is in thys world,' or an earlier poet that it was written by the hand of Our Lord Himself, it is clear that they meant to draw a clear line of demarcation between this story and the older secular romances of Arthur and his knights. But wherein lies the difference between them? What is the key of the cipher? What is the Presence that haunts and hints at every turn in the path that lies through the hallowed ground?
.....It will have been observed not only that the King Arthur of the Grail legend is not the traditional King Arthur of Geoffry of Monmouth, but that in some way 'this King Arthur' of whom the Trouveur speaks is identified with King Philip of France. The process by which the Breton or British legendary hero was transmuted into a French monarch is not only capable of a simple and easy explanation, but vividly illustrates the accuracy of the general hypothesis here propounded.