From Ritual to Romance Author:Jessie L. Weston Jessie L. Weston authored fourteen books on Arthurian legends during her lifetime, including this one on her study and theory of the origins of the legend of the Holy Grail. — The movie "Apocalypse Now" contains a scene in which several books are shown on a night table. One of them is — "The Golden Bough" by J. G. Frazier, another is "Heart of Da... more »rkness" by Joseph Conrad, and the third is this book "From Ritual to Romance" by Weston.
From the back of the book:
Best known as the book which inspired the basic symbolism of T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land", Jessie Weston's "From Ritual to Romance" is, in its own right, a classic of modern thought. An eminent medieval scholar, Miss Weston had the genius to apply the great insights of Sir J. G. Frazer's "Golden Bough" to the study of the mysterious legend of the Holy Grail. This conjunction of the discoveries of cultural anthropology and the literature of the medieval legend and romance has been rich in its fruits in later criticism, and in the work of a whole generation of poets and writers since 1920.
The archetypal events and symbols of the Grail legend -- The Waste Land, The Freeing of the Waters, The Fisher King, The Medicine Man, The Hidden Castle, The Mysterious Feeding Vestle, The Bleeding Lance and Cup, The Perilous Chapel -- are seen as romantic transformations of ancient and deeply significant nature-rituals, which have analogues in the myths and rituals of Tammuz and Adonis, Mithra and Attis. There are fascinating excursions into questions of magic, the symbolism of the Tarot cards, and other related subjects.« less