This is the first book-length study of the origins of the Grail legend to have been undertaken by a specialist in medieval Irish literature. Drawing on a detailed reexamination of the relevant texts in Irish, Welsh, Latin and French, extensive sections of which are presented in new translations, the author argues that the roots of the Grail legend are to be sought in the lost Old Irish manuscript known as the Book of Druimm Snechtai .
Ireland and the Grail
John Carey (Author)
The author takes a fresh look at the possible means of transmission and at the cross-disciplinary implications of complex texts. In this, it is a study much to be admired and full of detailed arguments, far too many to be encompassed in a single review. … [T]his is a fascinating book, full of new ideas conveyed in the author’s clear, articulate prose …. (Juliette Wood, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 60 (Winter 2010), pp. 93-5)
Among specialists of medieval Celtic literature, John Carey has earned a reputation as an unusually meticulous and productive scholar. Ireland and the Grail displays his customary thoroughness and daring. It is a milestone …. (Matthieu Boyd, Arthuriana 19.1 (2009), p. 79)
Ireland and the Grail … is a fascinating new book by John Carey in the Celtic Studies series that takes a detailed look at the origins of the myth of the Holy Grail and traces occurrences of themes that extend through Irish, Welsh, English and French literature. (Tom Condit, Archaeology Ireland 22.1 (Spring, 2008), p. 45)
This is a rich and fascinating feast of a book. … [T]his is a book of attentive and thorough scholarship, packed with interesting nuggets of information and provocative suggestions. It has something to offer several specialist audiences: Arthurians, Celticists, medievalists interested in international textual transmission, and, of course, folklorists. (Jessica Hemming, Folklore 121.1 (April 2010), pp. 113-4)
Ireland and the Grail … constitutes a marvellous treatment of possible Irish sources of the Grail legend. (Kevin Murray, The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies 69 (2007), p. 616)