National Geographic : 1955 Sep
+ "Hast Thou Seen the Holy Cup, That Joseph Brought of Old to Glastonbury?" Page 332: In Idylls of the King, Alfred Lord Ten nyson (right) sings of the tradition that Joseph of Arimathea introduced Christianity into Britain. Set tling at Glastonbury, "he built with wattles from the marsh a little lonely church," and he hid "the cup, the cup itself, from which our Lord drank at the last sad supper with His own." Later, King Arthur, mortally hurt in battle, dreamed of coming to this sacred spot to "heal me of my grievous wound." These majestic piers once framed the entrance to the sanctuary of the Abbey of Glastonbury, com pleted in the 13th century and destroyed after the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1500's. Legend says that King Arthur and Queen Guinevere lie buried before the high altar, now covered by a canopy. Clerics and laymen make the annual Church of England pilgrimage to the ruins. © National Geographic Society Kodachrome by Jessie Shearer Borah "Tom Pearce, Lend Me Your Grey Mare, For I Want for to Go to Widecombe Fair" Opposite, lower: In "Widecombe Fair," a beloved British folk ballad, a hillsman seeks to borrow Tom Pearce's gray mare to transport some eight worthies, including Uncle Tom Cobleigh, to the fair. Not unnaturally, the junket falls short of success. From the legend has arisen a tradition. Here a citizen of Widecombe in the Moor plays the part of Cobleigh, a real person of the 18th century. His arrival on "Tom Pearce's mare" gets the annual Sep tember fair off to a hilarious start. Kodachrome by National Geographic Photographer Kathleen Revis our third lodging place, the Shakespeare Hotel. The day we left Stratford we rose early and drove out through the gracious country side. It was easy to see where Shakespeare found the inspiration for his exquisite lyrics: Under the greenwood tree Who loves to lie with me, And turn his merry note Unto the sweet bird's throat... The unspoiled landscape was lusciously green, birds sang everywhere, and cozy homes set behind hedgerows in bright gardens en tranced us. To me rural England was a con stant delight. Every cottager had his glow ing flower garden perfectly kept, however small. In the fields, red and white cows waded knee-deep in lush grass. High oak trees that Shakespeare perhaps saw as sap lings swayed in the breeze. At Warwick we saw the massive castle of Richard Neville, "the Kingmaker." This venerable stronghold on a rocky eminence overlooking the Avon has been the scene of 333 Bettmann Archive Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) a hundred tales of derring-do. Kept as it was long ago, it is open to visitors.* Another Warwickshire literary landmark is the childhood home, near the little mining village of Chilvers Coton, of Mary Ann Evans, who wrote under the name George Eliot. In later life she used Arbury estate, where she was born, as the "Cheverel Manor" of her book Scenes from Clerical Life (page 317). An Arrow Routs the Sheriff A book that I read over and over when I was a boy was the American artist-writer Howard Pyle's Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. The old ballads from which the Robin Hood tales are gathered claimed my attention later, and the appearance of Robin Hood as Locksley in Scott's Ivanhoe was a pleasant surprise. Researchers can find no real evidence that Robin Hood ever existed. Nevertheless, this * See "How Warwick Castle Was Photographed in Color," by Maynard Owen Williams, NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC MAGAZINE, July, 1936.