The author defines this as ""a kind of outline history of the cult of passion"" -- and he carries this out on several planes, metaphysical, mystical, legendary, with its role in present day life. The legend of Tristan and Iseult is used as the point of departure, as containing the components of passion; he then goes on to trace the religious origins of the myth, its role in mysticism, its influence on literature. Its implication yesterday and today, as a factor in war and in marriage. Typical French approach, finedrawn, flexible, a blend of intellect and interpretation. A somewhat rarefied book, beyond the compass of the average layman.