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Posted October 11, 2010
In the year 1171, Glaston was a small village in western England near the famous abbey of Glastonbury. One stormy night, a strange knight came and left his twelve-year-old son, named Hugh who was lame, with Father Robert, the abbot, claiming that he had to go away quickly. Hugh, who is literate and thus appointed to serve Brother John the librarian, makes a friend of Dickon, an oblate the same age as he. It is soon learned that Hugh's father, Lord Hugh de Morville, was one of the four men who, upon King Henry II's stated wish that his enemy, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas a Becket, were dead, went and killed the Archbishop, so he had to flee to France and from there was going to Rome to do penance before the Pope. But the good folk of Glastonbury accept Hugh without question.
In the Painted Aumbry at Glastonbury is part of the only copy of The Book of the Seynt Graal or story of the Holy Grail, which Brother John shows Hugh. Dickon knows of a special room, a hiding place with secret passages built in a cave during the Danish invasions, and in it Hugh discovers more pages from the book along with other precious objects. They also meet a strange old hermit, Bleheris, who lives in the nearby ruins of Beckery. He used to be a bard and knew all the stories in the book but has now forgotten many of them. However, all this information leads the boys to think that the body of King Arthur may have been buried nearby and that perhaps even the Holy Grail is somewhere at Glastonbury. Unfortunately, the book comes up missing, and after Hugh goes after the men whom he thinks took it, he returns to find the abbey on fire. Will they find the bones of Arthur and maybe even the site of the treasure of Glaston which is Holy Grail?
Anyone who likes reading stories about the Middle Ages and/or things related to the Arthurian legends will enjoy this book with its mystery, adventure, and excitement. Of course, it does contain some myth, fable, and superstition which pertain to the beliefs of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but all of this simply fits into the historical background. Furthermore, many historical personages, places, and events are woven into the story-King Henry II, the murder of Thomas a Becket, the abbey of Glastonbury with its fire, Sir Hugh de Morville, and the kindly Abbot Robert of Jumiege. Also many of the items in the book are based on traditions of the time, such as finding the bones of Arthur, a secret treasure vault at Glaston, and the suggestion that the Holy Grail was buried at Glastonbury. I found The Hidden Treasure of Glaston, which was a 1947 Newbery Honor winner, very interesting to read and hard to put down.
Posted July 18, 2001
The Hidden Treasure of Glaston is intelligent, interesting and well written. It is full of mystery, magic, Royalty and all of the things that fuel the imagination of young people. I think it is really a step up from most of the books that children are reading today.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.