Thursday, April 27, 2006

Indiana Jones meets Dan Brown?

Or is it "Decoding King Arthur"?

Nope. It's The Grail Code, a new book by Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey that promises to be compelling reading.

What is it about a quest for the Holy Grail that so intrigues us? Such stories generally round up the usual suspects of mystery and betrayal, faith and unbelief, good vs. evil, pure and corrupted hearts, all longing for the same thing: a tangible, historical connection to the Real Presence of Jesus.

The Grail Code sounds fascinating, and co-author Christopher Bailey says this:

But we all feel that inborn longing for lost paradise. We all know there has to be a way to get back there. The old romances of the Holy Grail were about that longing. And they were more than that: the best of the romances were nothing less than a road map to paradise.

That’s what The Grail Code is about: the powerful myth of the Holy Grail, the object of all desire, and what that myth really meant to the people who told the best stories about it.

I have a sudden urge to reread The Once and Future King (an all-time favorite to which I must introduce my girls), although the authors of The Grail Code will remind us that if Arthur was indeed an historical figure, he probably lived in the 5th century.

For more reminders as well as loads of new and engrossing details, visit The Grail Code blog, at this link. The banner art (Edward Burne-Jones) is exquisite and the site is full of resources, especially this page, the Scriptorium.


Liz said...

Oh, Karen, I must not, cannot head down this particular, tempting road. I have too many things on my plate at the moment (and too many other literary distractions as well). I do wish this book had been around two years ago when I did the Arthurian myth with "my girls" since it would have been helpful.

May I recommend to your personal attention Stephen Lawhead's series of books on the Arthurian legend, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series (although be aware of the gnostic elements in that one), and Rosemary Sutcliffe's Arthurian series. There are others, but those (along with T.H. White) are among the best of the bunch. Of course Atticus would probably appreciate A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, but the grail really doesn't come in to that one.

Some day when I get a bit more caught up I'll want to read this one. Right now, I'll have to pass it up, with regrets.

I can't believe how far behind I am in my reading. I read so much, how can I be so far behind??? After all I read fast (like all English majors!), how can I possibly not be getting caught up???

Karen E. said...

It is tempting, isn't it, Liz?

I'm starting to think about doing a Once and Future King unit with the kids next year, and then I could justify all my desired background reading. :-) Thanks for the recommendations!