The novel  The Da Vinci Code  takes the reader on a hunt for the Holy Grail, something that has always been mysterious and elusive. Due to the worldwide popularity of the book, its author, Dan Brown, has breathed new life into something that has remained undisturbed for centuries.
    The book draws on the work of others to put forward the idea that the Holy Grail refers to the Holy bloodline, the line from Mary Magdeline and Jesus Christ down to the present day. The main tenet of the book is that the Church has spent 2000 years hiding the secret of their union and in the process vilifying all things feminine.

    One must remember that when writing a novel based on historical (or even modern) facts, the author will select those elements that takes him forwards to the climax of his book and ignore others along the way.
    Henry Lincoln is the man who first brought the secrets of Rennes le Chateau to the attention of modern readers. One of the things that he discovered, and Dan Brown left out of his novel, was a poem called Le Serpent Rouge. This would have fitted into the novel well on two counts:
1)   Not only is the content of the poem an homage to the feminine, but its title, which translates as The Red Snake, is so obvious in its potent male symbolism that it would have been an ideal counterpoint to the overt supression of the female and all sexual symbolism by the Church.
2)  The poem mentions Charles Perrault and his fairytale Sleeping Beauty. The climax of The Da Vinci Code takes place in the church of Saint Sulpice in Paris and it is a great coincidence that Claude Perrault, Charles' brother, could have had a hand in its design. Claude was an architect and a contemporary of the architect Louis Le Vau who was commissioned to build the church in 1646. The two did actually work together on the design of the east wing of the Louvre from 1665.

    In fact the church of Saint Sulpice may not be the only thing that was carefully constucted. The Sleeping Beauty aptly describes the state in which the Church, and others, seem to want us to remain. All that remains is for someone to come along and release us from it.

    In a recent interview on the topic of Rennes le Chateau, Henry Lincoln said that in all the speculation surrounding them, the only genuine discoveries are to do with the geometry that has been discovered there; apart from that all the rest is speculation.

    In the following pages we are not interested in the works of man or in speculation.
    We follow a golden trail that leads at last to the Grail.


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splash page - The Last Supper, as painted by Da Vinci on a wall in the refectory of the convent of Santa Maria del Grazie in Milan.
It is not understood why a doorway was later placed in the position occupied by Christ's feet.