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Quest for the Holy Grail


Portion of one of The Holy Grail Tapestries by Edward Burne-Jones, Collection of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Edward Burne-Jones was born in 1833 to a frameworker. He attended a grammar school and Oxford, where he became a friend of William Morris and read Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. The idea of a knightly quest inspired him for the rest of his life. You can see his medieval pre-Raphaelite aesthetic at work here, and why his paintings and tapestries are said to have influenced JRR Tolkien decades later.

We mentioned in The Knight that descriptions of the quest for the Holy Grail first appeared during the reign of Richard the Lionheart, about twenty-five years before Magna Carta.