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The Holy Blood & The Holy Grail [Paperback]

Michael Baigent
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 10 1996
A nineteenth century French priest discovers something in his mountain village at the foot of The Pyrenees which enabled him to amass and spend a fortune of millions of pounds. The tale seems to begin with buried treasure and then turns into an unprecedented historical detective story — a modern Grail quest leading back through cryptically coded parchments, secret societies, the Knights Templar, the Cathar heretics of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and a dynasty of obscure French kings deposed more than 1,300 years ago. The author's conclusions are persuasive at the core is not material riches but a secret — a secret of explosive and contraversialproportions, which radiates out from the little Pyrenees village to all the way to contemporary politics and the entire edifice of the Christian faith. It involves nothing less than the Holy Grail.

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Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln, and Richard Leigh, authors of The Messianic Legacy, spent over 10 years on their own kind of quest for the Holy Grail, into the secretive history of early France. What they found, researched with the tenacity and attention to detail which befits any great quest, is a tangled and intricate story of politics and faith that reads like a mystery novel. It is the story of the Knights Templar, and a behind-the-scenes society called the Prieure de Sion, and its involvement in reinstating descendants of the Merovingian bloodline into political power. Why? The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail assert that their explorations into early history ultimately reveal that Jesus may not have died on the cross, but lived to marry and father children whose bloodline continues today. According to the authors, their point here is not to compromise or to demean Jesus, but to offer another, more complete perspective of Jesus as God's incarnation in man. They claim that the power of this secret, which has, they say, been carefully guarded for hundreds of years, has sparked much controversy. For all the sensationalism and hoopla surrounding The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail and the alternative history which it outlines, the authors are careful to keep their perspective and sense of scepticism alive in its pages, explaining carefully and clearly how they came to draw such combustible conclusions. --Jodie Buller


"'One of the most controversial books of the 20th Century'" U.P.I "'Their quest for knowledge possesses all the ingredients of a classic 19th-Century mystery novel... a book that will be hotly denounced and widely read'" Financial Times "'A book that cannot easily be dismissed'" Neville Cryer, The Bible Society "'Has all the ingredients of an international thriller...incredible'" Newsweek "'It makes compulsive reading'" Times Educational Supplement --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars international bestseller Feb. 28 2004
This book has sold millions of copies in Europe... and no wonder! It is an intriguing history of the tenuous thread of a bloodline being passed down through the royal houses of Europe... that bloodline being in large part what made (makes) them royal.
The 1996 edition is a revised edition so the better of the two. There is some controvery over the reality of the Priority of Sion, but IMHO this has not been disproved, and I suspect a disinformation campaign.
I also recommend a follow up with The Elixir and the Stone (available at but as of this date, not here at and Laurence Gardener's History of the Grail Kings.
Extremely interesting reading!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fact, fancy, or something else...? Nov. 3 2003
When my mother gave me this book, saying she could never take communion again, I was shocked. When I read the introduction, I was intrigued. When I began reading in earnest, I was enthralled...
Could Jesus have actually been married, fathered a family, and had them escape the Romans?
Fantastic, crazy, UNORTHODOX, yes- but could it be true, and does it MATTER? Since we were small, we have been told that Jesus was a poor, gentle peaceloving, almost non-Jewish Jew(after all, Hollywood has always gone to great lengths to make him look positively gentile), who allowed himself to be murdered by the Romans with barely a whimper, and that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute that inhabited the periphery of the very male world of first century Palestine.
But what if we look at the story from a truly historical perspective...
The region was swollen with fundimentalists, not unlike the Islamists we face today, and Jesus would have been a very orthodox Jew. Perhaps his story has been filtered over the centuries so that it is no longer recognizable...
And nowhere in the Bible does it refer to Mary as a prostitute- historians are begrudgingly now laying this interpretaion at the feet of a chauvinistic revisionist church- is it so unlikely that a woman in the company of a group of men traveling throughout the Holy Land, would have been married to one of those men? And why would it have been so unlikely that that man was Jesus? After all, a man of Jesus' age would have been looked upon with suspicion if he was NOT married...
Ah, the historical possibilites!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Jan. 29 2014
By Te
Format:Kindle Edition
Anybody who does not believe everything written in the bible will find this book interesting., and even those who believe in the gospel truth of the bible and have an open mind about it will still enjoy the probing nature of the book. The author said it himself that he does not believe or disbelieve what he wrote because they are more of the opinions of others. He used the particular phrase of "it is said that " in presenting his case.

It should be noted that the book is written to present the cases of those who held the belief that Jesus didn't die in the cross and began a bloodline hat survived him and still survives until today, and those who do not hold that belief. And since the Christian world does not hold that belief, the book had to focus on presenting the case of those who support that belief even if it is far-fetched. I am a Christian and I do not believe the skeptics, still I find this book interesting. It lets one get an idea of how things were during the early days of the church, an unsettling situation which could not be devoid of the emergence of myths. What is myth or reality about the life of Jesus is a question of faith. Still this book comes with Disciples of Fortune, The Da Vinci Code, The Messianic Legacy as that captivated me. Overall, this is a very easy book to read with very a very captivating plot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother March 1 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Most of the ideas in this book have been proved false. The main ideas that run in this book are directly tied to a secret cult order that the author believed to have existed....This secret cult is proven to never have existed. The Man who made it up has confessed to the lie, and also the author has conceeded that the secret order was a lie. In turn...that fact makes this book completly irelevant and a complete waste of time....You be best to read the Da Vinci code since both books have the same ideas(Da Vinci Code story was inspired from this one)..But now that we know that "both" books are fiction..Da Vinci Code is just more fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Before you jump . . . Jan. 2 2007
Before the reader jumps to the conclusion that this book presents historical fact, a few words from one of the three author's might be instructive. 'And so, our approach [in writing the book] was dictated by our material: by a need to synthesize and a need to confront and accommodate historical `anomalies' habitually ignored by conventional scholars. It was therefore not surprising that conventional scholars questioned our approach. But it was also significant, and not just coincidental, that the most sympathetic responses to our book seemed to come from literary figures-from important novelists like Anthony Burgess, Anthony Powell, and Peter Vansittart. For, unlike the professional historian, the novelist is accustomed to an approach such as ours. He is accustomed to synthesizing diverse material, to making connections more elusive than those explicitly preserved in documents.

He recognizes that truth may not be confined only to recorded facts but often lies in more intangible domains-in cultural achievements, in myths, legends, and traditions; in the psychic life of both individuals and entire peoples. For the novelist, knowledge is not subdivided into rigid compartments, and there are no taboos, no 'disreputable' subjects. History is not for him something frozen, something petrified into periods, each of which can be isolated and subjected to a controlled laboratory experiment. On the contrary, it is for him a fluid organic and dynamic process wherein psychology, sociology, politics, art, and tradition are interwoven in a single seamless fabric. It was with this vision akin to that of the novelist that we created our book.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Some fairly large assumptions tossed in with mind numbing details
When I started reading the book I could not put it down. It truly is written like an epic novel. As I progressed however I began to notice a trend. Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2006 by E. Hayton
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised
Not a book that I would normally pick, choosing instead some other summer "fun" read such as McCrae's KATZENJAMMER or the innocuous SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Kidd, I instead sucumbed... Read more
Published on June 25 2006 by J.P. Cornwall
2.0 out of 5 stars History or Speculation? You Decide,
Before the reader jumps to the conclusion that this book presents historical fact, a few words from one of the three author's might be instructive. Read more
Published on March 5 2006 by Martos Phenik
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will absolutely astonish you.
My thoughts will be short. If you like life inside the box, then this is not a book for you. I have been a conspiracy theorist and a follower of the so-called "secret... Read more
Published on March 4 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful documentary of hidden Western History
Whether you believe the writers or not is your own personal decision, what is not in question however is that this is masterful documentary of hidden Western history of the past... Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2006
4.0 out of 5 stars Reason and the Real Mystery
This is one of my favourite books because of what it symbolizes. This book was first published nearly a quarter of a century ago, BEFORE there was a market for historical fiction... Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2005 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Blood and Holy Grail
This book had some of the same ideas as the bestsellar, the DaVinci Code. This book will test some peoples faith but aside from that it is a wonderful book and you will learn a lot... Read more
Published on Dec 28 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Holy Wordy
Little to much fact to keep the pages turning, but nice to be able and have data to support the theories
Published on Aug. 23 2004
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