Monday, March 13, 2006

I must say is very entertaining seeing Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh destroying their credibility by suing Dan Brown. Whilst the Da Vinci Code is a load of twoddle, at least it is sold as fiction (the first page list of "facts" being no less fiction than the rest). Baigent and Leigh's book, the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (which they wrote with Henry Lincoln), has been marketed for the past 25 years as history. Beginning with a bizarre mystery of how a 19th century French priest amassed huge wealth after finding some parchments in his Church, they explain how Jesus never died and his bloodline continued through a dynasty of Frankish kings and on through a secret society which has been manipulating European politics for hundreds of years and continues to do so now. Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln have purveyed their silliness through books and TV programmes pretty much ever since. So yeah, of course Dan Brown used their ideas. But it was very much their ideas, their imaginations, which he used, rather than history - which they have implicitly admitted by suing him for libel. After all, you can't copyright history.

Oh, and by the way, in between the two books being written (and this is something they all do their best to ignore), it was shown that the "mediaeval manuscripts" Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln based their work on were written by a couple of French anarchist in the 1960s Baigent et al had been strung along the whole time. So maybe it's the late Pierre Plantard and Phillipe de Cherisey who are really the victims here.


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