`This is the history of that most sacred vessel that is named by men the Holy Grail, wherein the precious blood of Our Saviour was received on the day that He was crucified that He might redeem His followers from the pains of Hell.'
It is not known when The Book of the Grail was first written, or by whom. In this version of Percival's quest for the Holy Grail, the world of Arthurian legend is brought alive. Predating the popular tales of Mallory and Tennyson, this forgotten account - revived by E. C. Coleman from its Middle English translation - presents us with a vivid story full of the moral import and sacred wisdom of its time of telling.
Following Chretien de Troyes' earlier poem, Perceval, le Conte du Graal, many surprises and deviations lie in store for those familiar with Arthurian lore. The test of the Sword in the Stone has now become a sword and an arrow, drawn from stone columns; Sir Kay is not the good knight of the other versions; Merlin makes only a brief appearance; and Queen Guinevere suffers a tragedy rather than experiencing a love affair with Lancelot. In this complete and uncorrupted version, the darkness and fears of the thirteenth century are illuminated by moments of chivalry, adventure and religious piety.
E. C. Coleman served in the Royal Navy for 36 years, which included time on an aircraft carrier, a submarine, and Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory. During that time he mounted four Arctic expeditions in search of evidence from the 1845 Sir John Franklin Expedition. He has written many books on naval, polar, medieval and Victorian subjects and contributed the foreword to two volumes of Captain Scott's diaries. His interest in the Grail legend is longstanding and he is currently researching a new (and linked) work on the Knights Templar. He lives in Lincolnshire.