In 1300, the French region of Languedoc had been cowed under the authority of both Rome and France since Pope Innocent III 's Albigensian Crusade nearly a century earlier. That crusade almost wiped out the Cathars, a group of heretical Christians whose beliefs threatened the authority of the Catholic Church. But decades of harrowing repression - enforced by the ruthless Pope Boniface VIII; the Machiavellian French King Philip the Fair, of France; and the pitiless grand inquisitor of Toulouse; Bernard Gui (the villain in The Name of the Rose) - had bred resentment. In the city of Carcassonne, anger at the abuses of the Inquisition reached a boiling point and a great orator and fearless rebel emerged to unite the resistance among Cathar and Catholic alike. The people rose up, led by the charismatic Franciscan friar Bernard Dlicieux and for a time reclaimed control of their lives and communities.
Having written the acclaimed chronicle of the Cathars The Perfect Heresy, Stephen O'Shea returns to the medieval world to chronicle a rare and remarkable story of personal courage and principle standing up to power, amidst the last vestiges of the endlessly fascinating Cathar world.
©2011 Stephen O’Shea (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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