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Medieval Mysteries
A Guide to History, Lore, Places and Symbolism
Karen Ralls, PhD
ISBN: 9780892541720
Book (Paperback)
Ibis Press
$22.95
7 x 10
304 pages
color and b&w photos and illustrations
March 1, 2014


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Journey into twelve of the world’s favorite medieval mysteries and cross the threshold into the world of the High Middle Ages. From Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose to Dan Brown’s bestselling The Da Vinci Code, the medieval period continues to intrigue, inspire, entertain, and fascinate many today.

This is a book for the general reader and specialist alike, Medieval expert, former Rosslyn Chapel museum exhibition curator, and bestselling author Dr. Karen Ralls guides the reader through the key historical facts, legends and lore, affiliated places, and major symbolism of 12 popular medieval enigmas, providing a lively introductory portal which includes some of the lesser-known, sidelined, or unacknowledged aspects of each of these enduring topics. The story of each subject comes alive as never before, providing a solid introduction for all readers as well as further suggested resources for teachers and researchers. Also included are photographs, a recommended reading section, maps, a list of the key major sites associated with each topic, and a full bibliography.

Topics covered include:

  • King Arthur, Merlin, and Glastonbury
  • The Grail Quest
  • Mary Magdalene
  • The real meaning of Black Madonnas
  • The Knights Templar, the Cathars, and Rosslyn Chapel
  • Medieval Guides and Troubadours
  • Heresy and Heretics

Karen Ralls, Ph.D. is the author of Medieval Mysteries: A Guide to History, Lore, Places, and Symbolism from Ibis Press. She is a highly regarded medieval historian who obtained her doctorate fromthe University of Edinburgh and a past deputy Curator of the Rosslyn Chapel Museum Art Exhibition (1996–2001). She has appeared in TV documentaries for The History Channel, Discovery, and National Geographic. Dr. Ralls is an International conference speaker, sacred sites tourguide, and workshop presenter.
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