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Laurence Gardner, Element books, 2002, 445 pages
'Bloodline of the Holy Grail is a remarkable achievement in the field of genealogical research. Rare is the historian acquainted with such compelling facts as are gathered in this work. The revelations are entirely fascinating and will surely be appreciated by many as real treasures of enlightenment. Herein is the vital story of those fundamental issues which helped to shape the Christian Church in Europe and the Crusader States', so says the HRH Prince Michael of Albany, in the foreword to this very intriguing book on the life and origins of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
He continues to assume, and perhaps rightly, that aspects of this book will appear heretical in nature to some readers. 'It is the right of any individual to take this view since the disclosures are somewhat removed from the orthodox tradition'. The book breaks new ground and treads on virgin soil in covering some aspects of European and Christian history.
The author is indeed a great chronicler. Granted uncommon access to the rare royal and best kept annals and archives, he gives an extra ordinary account of the Messianic bloodline since the past 2000 years.
Going through it, one might think it is a prosaic treatment of a serious historical issue; yet, this book is indeed a work of non fiction; it is part history, part epic, part biblical, part genealogical, part mythology. It is eclectic and therefore thought provoking. It is a work for serious minds; for people who wish to know the ancient origins of one of mankind's greatest assets, Jesus Christ.
The vast and highly complex genealogical charts (p 329 - 400) produced by the author makes the book a serious contender as an opus on ancient historical genealogy; its vast quotations from the Bible and Koran (p.69) for example, give it a spiritual outlook which is unmissable to the serious reader. Indeed interesting mythological characters such as King Arthur and Joan of Arc, as well as historical epochs in Christendom such as the Crusades and the Inquisition are given a good portrayal by the author.
Especially interesting is the author's ability to underscore the roots of Christianity in Europe and how or why the major European families such as the Stuarts and the House of Windsor are associated with the ancient roots of Christianity. This shows that Church and State were not always separated as happens in today's worldwide craving for secularism. Ruling families in the west used their supposed links with the religion to assert their control over their peoples and entrench themselves in power.
The work is ground breaking. It tackles a difficult subject, covering ancient events which many historians do not wish to tackles. The sources are virtually absent or even if present as in written records, are in inaccessible languages such as Latin and Greek.
Yet, an antiquarian like the author has been able to bring out a compelling story about the intriguing issues of the lineage links between the rulers of Europe and the Church.
This book will keep one spellbound from the first page to the last.
The book is available at Timbooktoo, 4494345.