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The Hidden Treasure of Glaston (Living History Library) Paperback – Apr 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethlehem Books,U.S.; Reprint edition (April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883937485
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883937485
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


In 1171, twelve-year-old Hugh, burdened with a crippled leg since birth, is unhappy when his nobleman father, forced into exile in the bloody aftermath of King Henry's confrontation with Archbishop Thomas Becket, leaves him in the care of the monks of Glastonbury Abbey.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By on 9 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
On a rainy winter night in the year 1171, the monks are at their evening prayers when a nobleman fleeing from the law pounds on the door of Glastonbury Abbey. He has come to leave his only son, a crippled twelve-year-old, in the care of the monks while he leaves England forever. He refuses to give his name and calls the boy only "Hugh". As payment, the knight brings out something clearly as valueless in his eyes as his imperfect son: a bag of hand-copied books. To the Abbot, the books are priceless and the boy a child of God. Hugh's father is on the run because he is wanted for the murder of Thomas a Becket on the steps of Canterbury Cathedral. Hugh is forbidden to tell his full name or to reveal anything about his former life and thus is hampered in making friends until another fugitive from the same crime seeks sanctuary in the abbey and reveals Hugh's story. Hugh finds monastery life full of surprises. He makes a steadfast friend his own age. His skill in reading and writing, despised by his father, is valued by the monks, who set him to work as a scribe. He loves the life of the brothers and is able to contribute to the monastery community. Hugh and his friend Dickon embark on a private search for the Holy Grail, which some legends say is hidden at Glaston. He encounters underground passageways and real treasure of gold and jewels. He also learns about the pursuit of spiritual treasures, and experiences an extremely believable miracle. I bought this book at school in 1961, when I was in the fourth grade, and stayed up all night to finish it. My two sons were just as enchanted when I read it to them when they were ten and seven.Read more ›
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 1 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came to this book in preparation to teach medieval history for homeschool. I've had to refer to the plot below, so if you don't want it given away, don't read further than this paragraph! But I gave this a four for 'not bad historical fiction' and a sound 2 for dodgy theology that interfered with my enjoyment of the book. Certainly I don't think one could call this a good Christian read (compared with, say, 'The Door in the Wall' or even 'If all the Swords in England').

Despite the reference to Thomas Becket, the only relevance is that Hugh's father has been hounded out of England as one of Becket's murderers. The value of the book is in the flavour of what medieval monastic life must have been like; medieval Glastonbury; the friendship between the two boys and some moderately exciting things that happen to them; and the book's link with the Arthurian Grail stories.

But there are downsides to the book. It is LONG (350ish pages, albeit quite big print). It has dated a little, mostly in its slow pace, and in its chapter headings which utterly kill all surprise- if you read the book, try hard not to notice them.

But my main problem with the story is that it is billed as 'living history' and yet involves Hugh seeing a vision of where Arthur is buried (which is shown as correct) and and in the final pages has a vision of the Holy Grail, the 'healing powers' of which cure his lameness.

Now, I can see the argument that runs: 'but this is what the medieval church was interested in'. But it's a matter of proportion: the quest for the Grail takes over the whole book under the guise of a 'holy' pursuit. It is folktales mixed in with Christian beliefs - tolerable in Arthurian legend; worse here.

Why this is stocked by Greenleaf Press (home of Reformed historical literature) beats me. I would find something else to read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 28 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
A Long-Remembered Treasure 13 Dec. 2004
By Michele Beuerlein - Published on
Format: Paperback
What can I say about this sublime book that blends an exciting mystery with tantalizing folklore and fascinating historical detail? Only what virtually every other reviewer here has said:

I read this book as a teen and never, ever forgot it.

I became enthralled with the legends surrounding Glastonbury.

I didn't rest until I actually visited the site in my 20's.

I almost never write Amazon reviews, but I am so delighted to see this gem of a book available again, I had to check in.

From the unanimously excited responses of those who rediscovered this book, I am confident that word of mouth and enthusiastic teachers and librarians will do everything they can to see that this amazing work reaches a new generation of future travellers to Glastonbury.

Like I, they will be thrilled to gaze on the actual places described in the book: The beautiful Chalice Well, the ruined Abbey, the marker for "Arthur's grave", the thorn tree; and the profoundly mystical Glastonbury Tor at the nexus of one of the most remarkable places on Earth.

Thank you, Eleanor Jewett, for making that trip a foregone conclusion for me upon the opening of your book.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The magic of this story stayed with me to adulthood. 24 April 2002
By Celia A. Sgroi - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book in a Scholastic Books edition when I was a kid in grade school in the 1950's. It is the first time I ever remember being totally immersed and captured by a story about a distant time and place. Young readers really care about Hugh, a lame boy who is left in a monastery when his knight father is forced into exile from England. Hugh's search for the relics of King Arthur transforms him and works the same magic on the reader. Very highly recommended!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Wonderfully Enchanting 7 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is amazing! My mom wrote a review about it here, I am the 12 year-old daughter she was talking about. I have never read a book like this before! I have read it several times, and it hasn't lost any of the magic I experienced during the first reading. This book has made me want to go to England as soon as I can! It has even inspired me to be an archaeologist when I grow up! To anyone who might read this review, I suggest you try to find a copy and read it. This book should be back in print soon, PLEASE!!!!!!!
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A Lost Treasure Found 31 Dec. 2002
By Roy E. Row - Published on
Format: Paperback
I first read this book as a schoolboy. It filled my mind with dreams and many wonderful hours of adventure. I have looked for over 30 years for this book, uncertain of its exact title or author. What a joy to discover that it has been newly printed!
I wondered how the book would read as an adult. After just a few pages I was caught back once again into the wonderful celtic world and lived again in the monastary at Glaston. The book is a great read for all ages with a story that lets you dream of a time when knights rode the countryside and life was filled with enchantment.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely mesmerizing. 7 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I won a library contest by reporting on this book in the fifth grade and I have never forgotten the excitement of reading it. I've held on to my copy for 32 years now. My 12 year-old just read it and she loves it too. I ended up traveling to Glastonbury in my twenties because of this book. It deserves to be back in print!
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