Medieval Mysteries by Karen Ralls, Ph.D.

ralls mmCross the threshold and journey into the world of the High Middle Ages (1100-1300), to further explore twelve of the most-frequently-requested medieval topics today. From Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales,  Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose to the delights of Monty Python, the medieval period – pagan, Christian, and otherwise – continues to intrigue, inspire and fascinate many today.  But what were some of the unexpected developments, interesting people, and key events of this epic time? 

For general readers and specialists alike, medieval historian, former Rosslyn Chapel museum exhibition Curator and author Karen Ralls presents the key historical facts and associated places, symbolism, and folklore for each of the twelve medieval topics, providing a much-requested ‘medieval anthology’ — a lively introductory portal for all readers, in one place, which includes the major historical facts as well as some of the lesser-known aspects about each of the topics.

 The story of each subject comes alive as never before, providing a solid, engaging overview about each subject, as well as numerous full colour photographs throughout, a Recommended Reading List (from both selected general and academic sources), four appendices, Historic Sites to Visit,  Notes, and a full Bibliography.

Topics covered include:

  • The Knights Templar
  • The Grail and the Grail quest
  • Mary Magdalene: medieval places, traditions and shrines
  • Black Madonnas, from springs, grotto and grove to Chartres…
  • The courage of the Cathars
  • Medieval Guilds,  The Green Man
  • The Troubadours
  • Heresy, Heretics, and heresy trials
  • Rosslyn Chapel
  • King Arthur,  Glastonbury, Merlin

Further explore the history and wonders of the High Middle Ages —  a time of potent symbolism, unexpected developments on many fronts, and much spiritual questing.  But most of all, enjoy your journey… 

Medieval Mysteries: A Guide to History, Lore, Places and Symbolism is a testament to the erudite scholarship of its author, Dr. Karen Ralls. Medieval Mysteries is a fascinating read, filled with lavish photographs and illustrations, all presented in painstaking detail. Ralls makes the subjects come alive by breathing life into the narrative and drawing you into the very heart of these fabulous and enigmatic revelations.

The publisher, Ibis Press, has once again shown the breadth of their innovative creative design in putting together a wondrous volume, creating a book that will become a cherished member of your library.

I was, from beginning to end, mesmerized, and wholeheartedly recommend this book to any and all who have a similar fascination for history’s mysterious past and would see some of it illuminated.

Medieval Mysteries is available wherever books are sold, or you can, with the simple click of a mouse, order from

Enjoy. I most certainly did.




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