Machen was investigating Celtic Christianity, the Holy Grail and King Arthur. Publishing his views in Lord Alfred Douglas’s The Academy, for which he wrote regularly, Machen concluded that the legends of the Grail actually were based on dim recollections of the rites of the Celtic Church. These ideas also featured strongly in the novel. Unlike most of Machen’s other works, The Secret Glory is not usually considered a work of horror. Instead it is a semi-autobiographical tale of a young man, Ambrose Meyrick, and his attempt to struggle through the public school system all the while preoccupied with a childhood memory of the Holy Grail hidden in his native Wales.
The secret glory – Arthur Machen