An engrossing enquiry

Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s ‘The Damsel of the Sanct Grael’ (1874)

The Quest for the Grail:
Arthurian Legend in British Art, 1840-1920

by Christine Poulson.
Manchester University Press, 1999.

The author, a now moderately successful crime-writer, was at the time of writing a Fellow of the Centre for Nineteenth-century Studies at the University of Sheffield, but The Quest for the Grail is no dry-as-dust academic publication. Plentifully illustrated with fourteen colour and sixty monochrome plates, this is an engrossing enquiry into the 19th-century renaissance of the Arthurian legend in representational art, stimulated by the 1817 re-publication of Malory and by Tennyson’s later reworkings of the tales.

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