An exceptional opportunity to acquire a pivotal prop from one of the high-points of British film-making, the original ‘Book of the Film’ as used in Monty Python’s hystorical docudrama Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Little is known about the shadowy ‘Monty Python’, indeed some unfairly speculate that he was not even a real person; he achieved rapid fame in the late ’60s and early ’70s through a series of bitingly satirical TV shows that held up a bitter mirror to the excesses & absurdities of the societal norms of the time. Further evidencing his anarchic personality, Python broke against tradition and employed the tjalents of a group of mostly Oxbridge graduates for his work with the BBC, and it was not long before Cleese, Palin, Idle, Chapman, Jones and Gilliam were, if not exactly household names, certainly names occasionally whispered in sheds.
Python’s career arc must however be best defined by the series of films he produced subsequently, and possibly posthumously, which included Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian (1979), The Meaning of Life (1983) and, more tenuously, Jabberwocky (1977) and, less famously, Yellowbeard (1983). Whilst everyone has their own personal favourite, for lovers & students of the Arthurian legends Monty Python and the Holy Grail has to rank most highly. Stolid Sir Galahad’s courage in the face of devilish temptation; noble Sir Lancelot’s heroism in the face of social niceties, and of course the endless deeds of the bravest of them all, brave, brave Sir Robin, whose heroic efforts were forever enshrined in song, these stories under Python’s masterful directorial control would go onto inspire generations to come, and see the film’s actors catapulted into the upper echelons of stardom. Especially Eric Idle, who as Sir Robin proved definitively what an exceptional talent he is*.
This is the original prop used in the film, first appearing just after King Arthur has recruited Sir Bedemir to his Knights of the Round Table, whereupon it is used to introduce the other Knights to the audience; the book reappears subsequently, shortly after Galahad and Lancelot’s fortunate escape from Castle Anthrax, where it serves to segue seamlessly into the now infamous ‘Scene 24’. For lovers of all things Python, this has to be the Holy Grail of collectables — apart from the Holy Grail of course, which was apparently last seen (we are reliably informed via Twitter) on a thrift store’s “Gently Used Knick-Knacks” shelf between a John Glenn novelty mug and a statue of kissing dolphins…
* And we are not just saying that because he was kind enough to sign & authenticate the book for us during the California Book Fair in Pasadena, we promise…
Small folio, comprising 11 hand-made illuminations and 11 mounted original photographs on facing pages bound within multiple blank leaves and handsomely rebound in antique-style full calf with embossed metal corner-pieces.
Stock ID: 97206