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Arthur Prescott is happiest surrounded by the ancient books and manuscripts of the Barchester Cathedral library. Increasingly, he feels like a fish out of water among the concrete buildings of the University of Barchester, where he works as an English professor. His one respite from the never-ending committees is his time spent nestled in the library, nurturing his secret obsession with the Holy Grail and researching his perennially unfinished guidebook to the medieval cathedral. But when a beautiful young American named Bethany Davis arrives in Barchester charged with the task of digitizing the library's manuscripts, Arthur's tranquility is broken. Appalled by the threat modern technology poses to the library he loves, he sets out to thwart Bethany, only to find in her a kindred spirit with a similar love for knowledge and books--and a fellow grail fanatic. Bethany soon joins Arthur in a quest to find the lost Book of Ewolda, the ancient manuscript telling the story of the cathedral's founder--which was last seen being carried away by a mysterious figure during one of Barchester Cathedral's most dangerous nights.As Arthur and Bethany peel back layers of history, we are privy to important moments in the history of the Book of Ewolda--from the earliest days of English saints to the Norman invasion, the Reformation, the English Civil War, and on to the Victorian era and the Blitz. And when the future of the cathedral itself is threatened, Arthur and Bethany's search takes on grave importance leading the pair to discover secrets about the cathedral, about the grail, and about themselves that neither expected.
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