Just read this one, originally published in 1982-83, and handed to me by a friend this summer. The authors are Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, researchers and producers for the BBC in London. It gives the research (also in Woman with the Alabaster Jar, and a couple of others) behind the story in the DaVinci Code. These authors are the ones who sued Dan Brown for stealing their ideas. And lost.
The book focuses much attention on the Priors of Sion, tracing the Grand Master from 1188 to the current Master in France. It also includes information on the Masons’ beginnings and history.
Early on in the book is the statement that Jesus did not die on the cross, and that this was known at the time. Then the bloodline in France, through the Merovingians, is painstakingly researched. There are numerous side issues also presented. including the notion that a village priest in France in 1891 found hidden documents and treasure related to the story.
It is presented step by step as good research is, but still sweeps the reader along. A good read, with lots of interesting historical characters.
I, for one, have no problem with the entire DaVinci Code story, though I don’t accept every statement in Dan Brown’s book or in this one. The Goddess has always been alive and well in Christianity, even though churches remain in denial. This is just more evidence of the power of the Divine Feminine.