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THE object of the present Series of Popular Studies is as much to assist those who are anxious to pursue a special line of study as to give an accurate summary of any particular subject to those who do not wish for more than a general knowledge of it. In the present instance the second intention is almost impossible to realise in view of the enormous mass and great complexity of the subject-matter. All the more, therefore, do I trust that I may be able to induce many of my readers to take up the study of the Grail cycle. There is only one way of setting .about this, and that is to read the romances themselves Luckily, several of the most important are easily accessible to the English reader. The PEREDUR, the most archaic form of the Quest story, may be read in my edition of the Mabinogion; Wolfram's PARZIVAL, the finest example of the Quest story as transformed by Christian influence, in Miss Weston's translation (2 vols. 10s.,6d.) ; the PERCEVAL LE GALLOIS, the transitional bridge between the knightly hero of Crestien-Guiot and the ascetic hero of the later legend, in Dr. Evans' exquisite translation (The High History of the Holy Grail, 2 vols.4s.); and the QUÊTE DU ST. GRAAL, the final outcome of Puritan asceticism, in Malory's Morte D'Arthur (best read in Dr. Sommer's faithful reprint of Caxton's text, 2 vols. 7s. 6d., in which it occupies Books 13-18). When these four versions have been mastered, the main lines of development will be clear, and attention can be given to the remaining works of the cycle. Of these, the GRAND ST.GRAAL and the DIDOT PERCEVAL are accessible in Hucher's Le Saint-Graal ou le Joseph d'Arimathie, 3 vols., 1875-78 (£1 10s.). A fifteenth-century metrical English adaptation of the GBAND ST. GBAAL has likewise been edited by Dr. Furnivall : Seynt Graal; or, the Sank Ryal, 2 vols., 1861-63 (printed for the Roxburghe Club), but this is only accessible to frequenters of large libraries ; moreover, the reader who has a fair knowledge of modern French will, after a few days' work, find the thirteenth-century prose of the French original easier to understand than the fifteenth-century verse of the English adaptation. Borron's poem is printed in Furnivall's Seynt Graal.

SIR PERCIVALLE is accessible in Halliwell's edition : The Thornton Romances, 1884, printed for the Camden Society. Unfortunately the chief work of the cycle, the CONTE DEL GRAAL, is practically inaccessible, only 100 copies having been printed of the only edition, that of M. Potvin, 6 vols., Mons, 1866-71. Professor Baist is engaged upon a new edition. Readers who can consult one of the few copies extant in England, and who have a fair knowledge of modern French, will not find Crestien very difficult, less so than is Chaucer to the average well-educated Englishman.

As regards the literature of the subject, there are only two works to which the reader can be referred for full and accurate summaries of the romances : Birch-Hirschfeld, Die Sage vom Gral, 1877, and my own Studies on the Legend of the Holy Grail, 1888. This latter, the only work accessible to readers unacquainted with German, is now out of print. The only other work dealing with the cycle as a whole, Prof. B. Heinzel's Die französischen Gralromane, a monument of erudition and ingenuity, is useless to all but advanced student, the "senior wranglers" of the study. Dr. E. Wechssler has done excellent work in determining the relation to each other of the existing prose romances, and in tracing their development (Die verschiedenen Redaktionen der Graal-Lancelot Cyklus,1895), and his Sage v. heil. Gral, 1898, which contains a useful bibliography, and many acute and valuable suggestions might be recommended if it did not present the author's hypothetical view of the development of the legend (a view entirely untenable in parts) in such a way as to lead the unknowing reader to imagine that it set forth the evidence of the texts.

Other works will be mentioned as occasion offers.

This has been best fixed by Wechssler, Sage v. h. G., par. 63.

The most perplexing and obscure problems of the Grail literature are connected with this poem. In addition to Miss Weston's translation, the following should be consulted, in addition to the works cited, Studies, p. 261: Hagen, Parzival-Studien, 1892 ; Golther, Lohengrin (Rom. Forschungen, V. 1890) ; Lichtenstein, Zur Parzivalfrage (Paul u. Braune, Beitr. 1897) ; Hertz' admirable modern German adaptation of Wolfram's Parzival, 1898.

The following may be consulted : H. Waitz, Die Fortsetzungen v. Crestien s P. le Gallois, 1890.
The statements on the subject in my Studies must be supplemented and corrected from this work.

Up to 1898, the date of 1204, assumed to be that in which Helinandus finished his Chronicle, was accepted as a terminus ad quern for the GRAND ST. GRAAL, or for its source. Dr. Evans, High History, ii. p. 293, has shown that Helinandus wrote about 1220.

This has been recently studied by Dr. Nitze, The old French Grail Romance of Perltevaus. Baltimore, 1902.

The chief discussion of the Glastonbury legend is that of Prof. G. Baist, Zeitschrift für Rom. Philologie, xix.
Prof. Wülcker, Das Evangelium Nicodemi in der abendIändischen Literatur, 1872, has shown the early knowledge of this apocryphal work in England.

Cf. M. Ferd Lot : Glastonbury et Avalon, in Romania, vol. xxvii.

The special modification of the Grail Quest with a view of connecting it more closely with the Temple knighthood found in Guiot-Wolfram is undoubtedly bound up with a number of Oriental traits and features only met with in the Parzival. These lend colour to the hypothesis that Guiot had himself been in the East, and become acquainted with many Eastern legends, and also that he was in some way attached to the Temple order.
These Oriental traits in the Parzival have misled certain scholars into imagining an Eastern origin for the Grail legend. The last statement of this view is Prof. A. Wesselovsky's: Archiv f. Slav. Philologie, 1901. Cf. Dr. P. Hagen's valuable Der Gral, 1900.

In my Studies I chiefly dwelt upon the Irish analogies-and parallels. Prof. Rhys in his Arthurian Legend, 1891, brought into prominence the Welsh parallels, notably the enchantment of Pryderi's land with the wasting of the realm of the Fisher King (Perceval's uncle).

This instance, from Cormac's Glossary, an Irish compilation of the 10th-11th centuries, is cited and discussed by me, Waifs and Strays of Celtic Tradition. 1890, vol. ii., p. 467.

THE QUESTION. (Page 58.)
My explanation of this as due to misunderstanding of an original geis (pronounced gess) is strengthened by the kinship between the Lohengrin (Swan Knight) and Grail story. For in Lohengrin the supernatural hero is under a geis not to reveal his name, and the infringement of this; tabu ensures his withdrawal to his own land. Now the oldest known instance of the theme of a supernatural wife, or husband, who imposes injunctions the infringement of which is fatal, is found in Ireland, in the well-known story entitled Noinden Ulad (the Feebleness of the Ulstermen).
Cf. Miss Hull's Cuchullin Saga, p. 96.

(Pages 62, 63.)
The two paragraphs are a summary of Dr. Wechssler's argument, Sage v. heil. Gral, pp. 12-18. I agree with the argument, save when I express dissent from it.

Miss Weston is the chief advocate of Guiot's priority, I think she is right.

LANCELOT. (Pages 71, 72.)
Cf. Miss Western's Legend of Sir Lancelot du Lac, 1901, on which this paragraph is based.
(Page 74.) I allude of course, to Richard Wagner's Parsifal.

Quelle: The Legends of The Holy Grail, Alfred Nutt, London 1902, S. 75ff