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In this verse translation of Perceval; or, The Story of the Grail, Ruth Harwood Cline restores to life the thematically crucial Arthurian tale of the education of a knight in his search for the Holy Grail.Cline's translation, faithful to the highly synthetic, deliberately ornate nature of medieval French, follows Perceval from his home in Wales, through his rich and raucous adventures as a member of the fraternity of knights, to his climactic meeting with the Fisher King. Paralyzed by his first glimpse of the Grail, Perceval fails to save the ailing king. Distraught, the knight begins a new quest for the Grail, a journey on the road of penitence and faith. Perceval's venture, the true test of his knighthood, ends without conclusion; the death of author Chretien de Troyes left unsaid and undetermined the success of Perceval's quest.
Ruth Harwood Cline is a research associate in the department of history at Georgetown University.