Holy Blood, Holy Grail Illustrated Edition : The Secret History of Jesus, the Shocking Legacy of the Grail
SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED EDITION WITH EXCLUSIVE NEW MATERIAL
"One of the more controversial books of the 20th century." -UPI
"Enough to seriously challenge many traditional beliefs, if not alter them." -Los Angeles Book Times Review
Explosive, thought-provoking, fiercely compelling, Holy Blood, Holy Grail breaks bold new ground with its shocking conclusions about the lineage of Christ and the legacy of the Holy Grail. Now this lavishly illustrated
collector's edition features exclusive new material plus dozens of full-color photographs, drawings, symbols, architecture, and artwork, making it a dazzling feast for the eyes as well as the mind. Based on decades
of research, filled with eye-opening new
evidence and stunning scholarship, this authoritative work uncovers an alternate history as shocking as it is believable-as it dares to ask:
Is the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ in some way incomplete?
Is it possible Christ did not die on the
Is it possible Jesus was married, a father,
and that his bloodline still exists?
Is it possible that parchments found in the
South of France a century ago reveal one
of the best-kept secrets in Christendom?
Is it possible that these parchments contain
the very heart of the mystery of the Holy
According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible-they are probably true. So revolutionary, so original, so convincing, the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversy, now newly updated and beautifully illustrated for the collector's shelf.
"Like Chariots of the Gods...The plot has all the elements of an international thriller." -Newsweek
"Compelling." -Philadelphia Inquirer
"An astonishing hypothesis."
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October 23, 2005
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Excerpt from Holy Blood, Holy Grail Illustrated Edition by Michael Baigent
We believed at first that we were dealing with a strictlylocal mystery — an intriguing mystery certainly, but a mystery of essentially minor significance, confined to a village in the south of France. We believed at first that the mystery, although it involved many fascinating historical strands, was primarily of academic interest. We believed that our investigation might help to illumine certain aspects of Western history, but we never dreamed that it might entail re-writing them. Still less did we dream that whatever we discovered could be of any real contemporary relevance — and explosive contemporary relevance at that. At the start of our search we did not know precisely what we were looking for — or, for that matter, looking at. We had no theories and no hypotheses, we had set out to prove nothing. On the contrary, we were simply trying to find an explanation for a curious little enigma of the late nineteenth century. The conclusions we eventually reached were not postulated in advance. We were led to them, step by step, as if the evidence we accumulated had a mind of its own, was directing us of its own accord. Our quest began — for it was indeed a quest — with a more or less straightforward story. At first glance this story was not markedly different from numerous other ‘treasure stories’ or ‘unsolved mysteries’ which abound in the history and folklore of almost every rural region. A version of it had been publicised in France, where it attracted considerable interest but was not — to our knowledge at the time — accorded any inordinate consequence. As we subsequently learned, there were a number of errors in this version. For the moment, however, we must recount the tale as it was published during the 1960s, and as we first came to know of it. Rennes-le-Château and Bérenger Saunière On June 1st, 1885 the tiny French village of Rennes-le-Château received a new parish priest. The curé’s name was Bérenger Saunière. He was a robust, handsome, energetic and, it would seem, highly intelligent man aged thirty-three. In seminary school not long before he had seemed destined for a promising clerical career. Certainly he had seemed destined for something more important than a remote village in the eastern foothills of the Pyrenees. Yet at some point he seems to have incurred the displeasure of his superiors. What precisely he did, if anything, remains unclear, but it soon thwarted all prospects of advancement. And it was perhaps to rid themselves of him that his superiors sent him to the parish of Rennes-le-Château. At the time Rennes-le-Château housed only two hundred people. It was a tiny hamlet perched on a steep mountain-top, approximately twenty-five miles from Carcassonne. To another man, the place might have constituted exile — a life sentence in a remote provincial backwater, far from the civilised amenities of the age, far from any stimulus for an eager and inquiring mind. No doubt it was a blow to Saunière’s ambition. Nevertheless there were certain compensations. Saunière was a native of the region, having been born and raised only a few miles distant, in the village of Montazels. Whatever its deficiencies, therefore, Rennes-le-Château must have been very like home, with all the comforts of childhood familiarity. Between 1885 and 1891 Saunière’s income averaged, in francs, the equivalent of six pounds sterling per year — hardly opulence, but pretty much what one would expect for a rural curé in late nineteenth-century France. Together with gratuities provided by his parishioners, it appears to have been sufficient — for survival, if not for any extravagance.