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Holy Blood, Holy Grail Illustrated Edition: The Secret History of Jesus, the Shocking Legacy of the Grail Hardcover – October 25, 2005

3.7 out of 5 stars 660 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 that 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. The authors' 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. The power of this secret, which has been carefully guarded for hundreds of years, has sparked much controversy. For all the sensationalism and hoopla surrounding Holy Blood, Holy Grail and the alternate history that it outlines, the authors are careful to keep their perspective and sense of skepticism alive in its pages, explaining carefully and clearly how they came to draw such combustible conclusions. --Jodie Buller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Fly page has embossed stamp of previous owners name. In good shape --Seller --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; Ill edition (October 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038534001X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385340014
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (660 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
First off, I have never read "The Da Vinci Code." Let's get that out of the way right from the start since it seems most people who read "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" did so because of the enormous popularity of the Brown book. No, I read "Holy Blood" because I love reading about conspiracy theories--UFOs, the Kennedy assassination, Britney Spears's success--anything that concerns the unexplainable. I actually came across this title about six years ago when I was reading several books about British Israelism, and only recently picked it up after accidentally stumbling over it on one of my Internet excursions. When I began describing the contents of this book to a family member, she quickly mentioned "The Da Vinci Code." I now see that Brown's book apparently borrowed its plot from "Holy Blood, Holy Grail," thereby bringing this esoteric theory about Christ, the Merovingian dynasty, and Mary Magdalene to a new generation of readers. I will say that Baigent's book is the grandest conspiracy theory I have ever read. There are conspiracy theories, and there are CONSPIRACY THEORIES. "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" is the mother of all conspiracy theories; fifty stories tall and decked out in neon letters with sprinkles on top. If any of this is true, western civilization as we know it is undone.
The mystery examined in this book first came to public attention roughly a century ago, when an obscure French priest named Berenger Sauniere assumed his post in the village of Rennes-le-Chateau in Southern France. The priest uncovered some ancient, mysterious documents in an abandoned church near his village. Intrigued, he took them to the local bishop, who then instructed Sauniere to head to Paris and consult some "experts" there.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Holy Blood, Holy Grail is well worth reading by anyone whose interest was piqued by The Da Vinci Code. It is essentially two histories: the history of the First Crusade and its antecedents, and the history of Christianity immediately following the Crucifixion.
The first history is very meticulously done and it holds our interest throughout an exposition of potentially tedious research. Granted, the conclusions are based on the existence of secret and hitherto unknown documents that serve as their Rosetta Stone, but even the skeptical will find the tapestry the authors weave to be an interesting one.
The second history, which purports to show that Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and all that, is much less thorough and much more overtly speculative. Whereas the underlying documentary evidence of the Knights Templar may be a bit obscure, the Bible has been dissected in public and in detail for two millennia. Here, the authors purport no Rosetta Stone, and although the exposition is interesting, it does not have even a patina of research. One gets the feeling throughout of a conclusion being sought in the ambiguous language of the first four Gospels of the New Testament, a trick played by many before this.
If you are not a Biblical scholar or a scholar of pre-Medieval history but are interested in these subjects, this book will hold your interest. It is not ultimately convincing in the least but it presents the material in a very interesting and readable way. Scholars will undoubtedly quibble, but a layperson will find it interesting.

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anthony Burgess described this book as a wonderful basis for a novel. He was right, but what sort of novel? It is part mystery, part thriller, part historical, and totally rivetting from page one. This "novel" has the greatest twist of them all. It could al be true.
The general "plot" is that a mystery concerning a valuable treasure in the South of France slowly unfolds to reveal an ongoing campaign to get a new, truthful, version of history accepted. A version of history that suggests Jesus did not die on the cross, but survived, married and founded a dynasty that has played a major role in the events of the European stage and beyond. The Holy Grail is said to be this truth that has been kept secret by vested interest groups including the Catholic Church.
The story could be true, all speculation engaged in by the authors is grounded in the many facts they produce. The quest for the grail is, however, given a new form by the authors, in that they find their own lives changed by the efforts of the research itself. Many other lives have been changed too. This book has spawned a small industry of books and souvenirs adding to or modifying the basic plot.
In the final analysis I would say this book is "the stone at the head of the corner" of the ultimate Post-Modernist novel, a novel with a basic storyline that can be taken up and modified by everyone with a will to try. It is written by many authors from many countries, and may still have many plot twists left. Who knows, read this book and you may be inspired to be the author of the next dramatic sequence.
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