Cover image for Holy blood, Holy Grail
Holy blood, Holy Grail
Baigent, Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, 2004.

Physical Description:
489 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
General Note:
Originally published in Great Britain by Jonathan Cape in 1982. Now with a new introduction to the paperback ed.
Corporate Subject:
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DC40 .B33 1983 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
DC40 .B33 1983 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
DC40 .B33 1983 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
DC40 .B33 1983 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DC40 .B33 1983 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DC40 .B33 1983 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DC40 .B33 1983 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DC40 .B33 1983 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Is the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ in some way incomplete?

* Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross?
* 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 of Christendom?
* Is it possible that these parchments contain the very heart of the mystery of the Holy Grail?

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, that the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversey.

"Enough to seriously challenge many traditional Christian beliefs, if not alter them."
-- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Like Chariots of the Gods? ...the plot has all the elements of an international thriller."
-- Newsweek

From the Paperback edition.

Author Notes

Michael Baigent was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1948. He studied religion and psychology at the University of Canterbury, where he graduated in 1972. Before becoming an author, he was a commercial photographer. His first book, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, which was released in the United States as Holy Blood, Holy Grail, was written with Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln and was published in 1982. The book hypothesized that Jesus had married Mary Magdalene and that their descendants were protected by a secretive group called the Priory of Sion. He and co-author Richard Leigh unsuccessfully sued Random House UK for copyright infringement, over similarities between their work and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Baigent's other works included The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, The Jesus Papers, and Racing toward Armageddon. He died of a brain hemorrhage on June 17, 2013 at the age of 65.

(Bowker Author Biography)



Introduction In 1969, en route for a summer holiday in the Cévennes, I made the casual purchase of a paperback. Le Trésor Maudit by Gérard de Sède was a mystery story--a lightweight, entertaining blend of historical fact, genuine mystery, and conjecture. It might have remained consigned to the postholiday oblivion of all such reading had I not stumbled upon a curious and glaring omission in its pages. The "accursed treasure" of the title had apparently been found in the 1890s by a village priest through the decipherment of certain cryptic documents unearthed in his church. Although the purported texts of two of these documents were reproduced, the "secret messages" said to be encoded within them were not. The implication was that the deciphered messages had again been lost. And yet, as I found, a cursory study of the documents reproduced in the book reveals at least one concealed message. Surely the author had found it. In working on his book he must have given the documents more than fleeting attention. He was bound, therefore, to have found what I have found. Moreover, the message was exactly the kind of titillating snippet of "proof" that helps to sell a "pop" paperback. Why had M. de Sède not published it? During the ensuing months the oddity of the story and the possibility of further discoveries drew me back to it from time to time. The appeal was that of a rather more than usually intriguing crossword puzzle--with the added curiosity of de Sède's silence. As I caught tantalizing new glimpses of layers of meaning buried within the text of the documents, I began to wish I could devote more to the mystery of Rennes-le-Château than mere moments snatched from my working life as a writer for television. And so in the late autumn of 1970, I presented the story as a possible documentary subject to the late Paul Johnstone, executive producer of the BBC's historical and archaeological series Chronicle. Paul saw the possibilities and I was sent to France to talk to de Sède and explore the prospects for a short film. During Christmas week of 1970 I met de Sède in Paris. At that first meeting I asked the question that had nagged at me for more than a year: "Why didn't you publish the message hidden in the parchments?" His reply astounded me. "What message?" It seemed inconceivable to me that he was unaware of this elementary message. Why was he fencing with me? Suddenly I found myself reluctant to reveal exactly what I had found. We continued a verbal fencing match for a few minutes and it became apparent that we were both aware of the message. I repeated my question, "Why didn't you publish it?" This time de Sède's answer was calculated. "Because we thought it might interest someone like you to find it for yourself." That reply, as cryptic as the priest's mysterious documents, was the first clear hint that the mystery of Rennes-le-Château was to prove much more than a simple tale of lost treasure. With my director, Andrew Maxwell-Hyslop, I began to prepare a Chronicle film in the spring of 1971. It was planned as a simple twenty-minute item for a magazine program. But as we worked, de Sède began to feed us further fragments of information. First came the full text of a major encoded message, which spoke of the painters Poussin and Teniers. This was fascinating. The cipher was unbelievably complex. We were told it had been broken by experts of the French Army Cipher Department, using computers. As I studied the convolutions of the code, I became convinced that this explanation was, to say the least, suspect. I checked with cipher experts of British Intelligence. They agreed with me. "The cipher does not present a valid problem for a computer." The code was unbreakable. Someone, somewhere, must have the key. And then de Sède dropped his second bombshell. A tomb resembling that in Poussin's famous painting "Les Bergers d'Arcadie" had been found. He would send details as soon as he had them. Some days later the photographs arrived and it was clear that our short film on a small local mystery had begun to assume unexpected dimensions. Paul decided to abandon it and committed us to a full-length Chronicle film. Now there would be more time to research and more screen time to explore the story. Transmission was postponed to the spring of the following year. The Lost Treasure of Jerusalem? was screened in February 1972 and provoked a very strong reaction. I knew that I had found a subject of consuming interest not merely to myself but to a very large viewing public. Further research would not be self-indulgence. At some time there would have to be a follow-up film. By 1974 I had a mass of new material and Paul assigned Roy Davies to produce my second Chronicle film, The Priest, the Painter and the Devil. Again the reaction of the public proved how much the story had caught the popular imagination. But by now it had grown so complex, so far-reaching in its ramifications, that I knew the detailed research was rapidly exceeding the capabilities of any one person. There were too many different leads to follow. The more I pursued one line of investigation, the more conscious I became of how much material was being neglected. It was at this juncture that chance, which had first tossed the story so casually into my lap, now made sure that the work would not become bogged down. In 1975 at a summer school where we were both lecturing on aspects of literature, I had the great good fortune to meet Richard Leigh. Richard is a novelist and short-story writer with postgraduate degrees in comparative literature and thorough knowledge of history, philosophy, psychology, and esoterica. He had been working for some years as a university lecturer in the United States, Canada, and Britain. Between our summer-school talks we spent many hours discussing subjects of mutual interest. I mentioned the Knights Templar, who had assumed an important role in the background to the mystery of Rennes-le-Château. To my delight I found that this shadowy order of medieval warrior-monks had already awakened Richard's profound interest, and he had done considerable research into their history. At one stroke months of work I had seen stretching ahead of me became unnecessary. Richard could answer most of my questions, and was as intrigued as I was by some of the apparent anomalies I had unearthed. More important, he, too, saw the fascination and sensed the significance of the whole research project on which I had embarked. He offered to help me with the aspect involving the Templars. And he brought in Michael Baigent, a psychology graduate who had recently abandoned a successful career in photojournalism to devote his time to researching the Templars for a film project he had in mind. Had I set out to search for them, I could not have found two better qualified and more congenial partners with whom to form a team. After years of solitary labor the impetus brought to the project by two fresh brains was exhilarating. The first tangible result of our collaboration was the third Chronicle film on Rennes-le-Château, The Shadow of the Templars, which was produced by Roy Davies in 1979. The work we did on that film at last brought us face to face with the underlying foundations upon which the entire mystery of Rennes-le-Château had been built. But the film could only hint at what we were beginning to discern. Beneath the surface was something more startling, more significant, and more immediately relevant than we could have believed possible when we began our work on the "intriguing little mystery" of what a French priest might have found in a mountain village. In 1972 I closed my first film with the words, "Something extraordinary is waiting to be found . . . and in the not too distant future, it will be." This book explains what that "something" is--and how extraordinary the discovering has been. Henry Lincoln January 17, 1981 From the Paperback edition. Excerpted from Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 23
Part 1 The Mystery
1 Village of Mysteryp. 31
Rennes-le-Chateau and Berenger Saunierep. 31
The Possible Treasuresp. 39
The Intriguep. 43
2 The Cathars and the Great Heresyp. 48
The Albigensian Crusadep. 49
The Siege of Montsegurp. 55
The Cathar Treasurep. 57
The Mystery of the Catharsp. 61
3 The Warrior-Monksp. 64
Knights Templar--The Orthodox Accountp. 65
Knights Templar--The Mysteriesp. 78
Knights Templar--The Hidden Sidep. 86
4 Secret Documentsp. 96
Part 2 The Secret Society
5 The Order Behind the Scenesp. 111
The Mystery Surrounding the Foundation of the Knights Templarp. 115
Louis VII and the Prieure de Sionp. 118
The "Cutting of the Elm" at Gisorsp. 119
Ormusp. 121
The Prieure at Orleansp. 125
The "Head" of the Templarsp. 126
The Grand Masters of the Templarsp. 127
6 The Grand Masters and the Underground Streamp. 131
Rene d'Anjoup. 136
Rene and the Theme of Arcadiap. 138
The Rosicrucian Manifestosp. 141
The Stuart Dynastyp. 145
Charles Nodier and His Circlep. 150
Debussy and the Rose-Croixp. 127
Jean Cocteaup. 157
The Two John XXIIIsp. 159
7 Conspiracy Through the Centuriesp. 162
The Prieure de Sion in Francep. 164
The Dukes of Guise and Lorrainep. 166
The Bid for the Throne of Francep. 171
The Compagnie du Saint-Sacrementp. 173
Chateau Barberiep. 177
Nicolas Fouquetp. 178
Nicolas Poussinp. 180
Rosslyn Chapel and Shugborough Hallp. 183
The Pope's Secret Letterp. 184
The Rock of Sionp. 185
The Catholic Modernist Movementp. 187
The Protocols of Sionp. 190
The Hieron du Val d'Orp. 195
8 The Secret Society Todayp. 201
Alain Poherp. 204
The Lost Kingp. 205
Curious Pamphlets in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Parisp. 207
The Catholic Traditionalistsp. 210
The Convent of 1981 and Cocteau's Statutesp. 214
M. Plantard de Saint-Clairp. 220
The Politics of the Prieure de Sionp. 227
9 The Long-haired Monarchsp. 234
Legend and the Merovingiansp. 234
The Bear from Arcadiap. 237
The Sicambrians Enter Gaulp. 239
Merovee and His Descendantsp. 239
Blood Royalp. 241
Clovis and His Pact with the Churchp. 242
Dagobert IIp. 245
The Usurpation by the Carolingiansp. 253
The Exclusion of Dagobert II from Historyp. 257
Prince Guillem de Gellone, Comte de Razesp. 259
Prince Ursusp. 261
The Grail Familyp. 265
The Elusive Mysteryp. 269
10 The Exiled Tribep. 271
Part 3 The Bloodline
11 The Holy Grailp. 283
The Legend of the Holy Grailp. 285
The Story of Wolfram von Eschenbachp. 292
The Grail and Cabalismp. 303
The Play on Wordsp. 305
The Lost Kings and the Grailp. 306
The Need to Synthesizep. 309
The Hypothesisp. 313
12 The Priest-King Who Never Ruledp. 316
Palestine at the Time of Jesusp. 322
The History of the Gospelsp. 327
The Marital Status of Jesusp. 330
The Wife of Jesusp. 333
The Beloved Disciplep. 338
The Dynasty of Jesusp. 344
The Crucifixionp. 347
Who Was Barabbas?p. 350
The Crucifixion in Detailp. 352
The Scenariop. 357
13 The Secret the Church Forbadep. 360
The Zealotsp. 369
The Gnostic Writingsp. 378
14 The Grail Dynastyp. 383
Judaism and the Merovingiansp. 387
The Principality in Septimaniap. 389
The Seed of Davidp. 395
15 Conclusion and Portents for the Futurep. 398
Appendix The Alleged Grand Masters of the Prieure de Sionp. 415
Bibliographyp. 439
Notes and Referencesp. 449
Indexp. 477