The Virgin and the Grail: Origins of a Legend

The Virgin and the Grail: Origins of a Legend

by Joseph Goering
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Some fifty years before Chrétien de Troyes wrote what is probably the first and certainly the most influential story of the Holy Grail, images of the Virgin Mary with a simple but radiant bowl (called a “grail” in local dialect) appeared in churches in the Spanish Pyrenees. In this fascinating book, Joseph Goering explores the links between these

Overview

Some fifty years before Chrétien de Troyes wrote what is probably the first and certainly the most influential story of the Holy Grail, images of the Virgin Mary with a simple but radiant bowl (called a “grail” in local dialect) appeared in churches in the Spanish Pyrenees. In this fascinating book, Joseph Goering explores the links between these sacred images and the origins of one of the West’s most enduring legends.
While tracing the early history of the grail, Goering looks back to the Pyrenean religious paintings and argues that they were the original inspiration of the grail legend. He explains how storytellers in northern France could have learned of these paintings and how the enigmatic “grail” in the hands of the Virgin came to form the centerpiece of a story about a knight in King Arthur’s court. Part of the allure of the grail, Goering argues, was that neither Chrétien nor his audience knew exactly what it represented or why it was so important. And out of the attempts to answer those questions the literature of the Holy Grail was born.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“To search for the Holy Grail has always been to search for its meaning. Goering, in a highly original and historically satisfying work, invites the reader to join his fascinating quest for the origins, place, and meaning of the mysterious Grail.”—Paul Dutton, author of Charlemagne’s Mustache

Alexander Murray

"Goering’s quest for the origins of the grail legend leads us through a landscape of romance, theology, art, and dynastic history, to track down the first ’Perceval’ in Christendom’s least-frequented corner. A ’must’ for addicts."—Alexander Murray, University College, Oxford


Paul Dutton

“To search for the Holy Grail has always been to search for its meaning. Goering, in a highly original and historically satisfying work, invites the reader to join his fascinating quest for the origins, place, and meaning of the mysterious Grail.”—Paul Dutton, author of Charlemagne’s Mustache

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300138207
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
21 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Joseph Goering is professor in the department of history, University of Toronto.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >