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The Treasure of Rennes-le-Château: A Mystery Solved Paperback – July 1, 2005

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bill Putnam is former principal lecturer in archaeology at the University of Bournemouth and the author of many works on Roman Britain. John Wood is former director of underwater engineering at British Aerospace Dynamics and the author of 'Sun, Moon and Standing Stones' (University Press). Together they have lead study tours to Rennes-le-Chateau.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; Revised edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750942169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750942164
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,913,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am assuming the review below is written by someone who earnestly believes that there is a centuries-old mystery of world-shaking proportions hidden or related somehow to the church at Rennes-le-Château, and a hidden treasure to be discovered there. That is (almost) the only way in which the reviewer could have been disappointed by this superbly researched and clearly written book, in which the various extremely tangled threads that have spawned the "mystery of the Rennes-le-Château" are followed, investigated, evaluated in terms of real evidence, and finally conclusions are drawn FROM THE EVIDENCE.

The outstanding aspect of the RLC mystery is that the majority of writers have accepted uncritically books or concocted evidence that do not stand up to scrutiny. The trail followed is one of papers submitted to the National Bibliothèque by men using false names, falsely attributing their writings to books that don't exist, falsely claiming to be other real people (who coincidentally died just a short time before the papers were deposited).

Why has the public so fallen in love with the RLC mystery? Well, it lends itself to so many interpretations if one wishes to ignore real historical evidence... it's so exciting to the human imagination to envisage a potentially huge treasure buried or hidden for centuries, PARTICULARLY if there are abstruse clues scattered around like a giant puzzle. It has all the appeal of a cleverly designed computer adventure game. And of course, in latter years the "mystery" has deepened with those whose love of a good secret has led them to frankly bewildering conclusions, or with those who have a specific agenda.
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Format: Paperback
What a breathe of fresh air, and a fun book to read.

I really enjoyed the way this book was constructed, examining just the available documents and tracing the evolution of the story behind the unusual events that occurred at Rennes-le-Chateau with a certain priest, Berenger Sauniere. I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln back in the late 80s and was immediately put off by the lack of documentation for just about everything stated in that book. Rennes-le-Chateau is a key element in the HBHG legend. Yet, to this day, so many other books are based on the information as presented in HBHG as if it is established fact (even though the book totally lacks documentation.) The Treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau makes sense though I certainly have no way of knowing if what Putnam and Wood present is spot-on. These conspiracy theories have a way of spinning out of control, and perhaps if those devotees of deception would balance their view with books such as this, it might make for more coherent dialogue.

Of particular interest to me was the interaction between Henry Lincoln (I did not know he appeared in episodes of The Avengers and Dr. Who!) and Pierre Plantard, the man some people believe created the myth of the Priory of Sion.

This book is a real page-turner and its contents and conclusion are worth consideration.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of this book is somewhat misleading, because the Mystery is not solved, at least not completely solved. The authors are skeptics, but they review the history of the R-L-C mystery, and the authors slowly demonstrate that much of the R-L-C story is merely exaggeration or fabrication or fraud or hoax, with the primary public players named and their history discussed briefly, with little evidence of any physical treasure, and provide some small evidence that Sauniere obtained most of his wealth by donations and gifts. The authors admit that Sauniere spent a lot of money on R-L-C, but they do not examine the reasons, and they are too skeptical and dismissive, and too quick to ignore the possibility of private archives and secrets unknown. For example, the authors in only a few sentences falsely conclude that the Shroud of Turin is a fake, as if to show that everything religious is fake, and thus the authors demonstrate their own ignorance of that history. The authors mostly concentrate on the Mystery's historical evidence, or lack of legitimate evidence, and almost completely ignore the idea that the hoax was created for a real purpose, which was to promote a political and religious agenda associated with esoteric secret societies. The authors conclude that the main purpose of the Mystery hoax was related to supposedly secret written genealogies, supposedly discovered by Sauniere, and yet the authors discuss the actual latterly fabricated written genealogies only very briefly. There are other books which discuss much more the reasons and evidence for the creation of the R-L-C mystery. For a better discussion of this history topic, see the book "The Sion Revelation" by Lynn Picknett.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finally a good book on the subject of Rennes-le-Chateau! This volume deals with all hypotheses, theories and fantasies that have been written on this theme. In this way it sends (as it should've been done long time ago) most of the fairytales to the scrapheap untill the real naked facts are revealing itselves. What is left is that the priest Saunière suddenly spent a lot of money and nobody knows for sure where it came from. Most likely from selling masses that he never held and from gifts from rich people. Tales of a treasure that he found are most likely coming from a local hotelier Corbu that had to make the area interesting to visit for tourists, because there was not much else to come for. All together a very intriguing book that reads as a detective and seperates the crap from fact. A book that we all have been waiting for.
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