By Stephen O’Shea
Douglas and McIntyre, 2011
Publisher’s Synopsis: The dramatic story of a courageous friar who battled king, pope and Inquisition in his search for justice.
Nearly a century had passed since the French region of Languedoc had been put to the sword in the Albigensian Crusade, but the stain of Catharism still lay on the land. Any accusation of Catharism invited peril. But repression bred resentment, and it was in Carcassonne that resistance began to stir. In 1300 a great orator emerged there to bring together the currents of resistance. Three years later the terrible prisons were stormed and the inmates set free. The orator was a Franciscan friar, Bernard Délicieux.
The forces ranged against him included the ruthless Pope Boniface VIII, the Machiavellian French King Philip IV and the grand inquisitor of Toulouse, Bernard Gui (the villain of The Name of the Rose). This magnificent book, a compelling sequel to Stephen O’Shea’s bestselling The Perfect Heresy, tells Délicieux’s inspiring life and tragic story.
Please see our interview with Stephen O’Shea
David V Barrett – The Independent - “Criticising the inquisitors drew dangerous attention to yourself; it suggested that at least you sympathised with the heretics. Yet this is what a Franciscan friar did, year after year, at the start of the 14th century, as this fascinating book explores.” – Click here to read the full review
Phil Kukielski – The Providence – “He takes us to medieval Europe, a world alien to modern sensibilities, and makes it understandable by illuminating the historical record with the storytelling techniques of new journalism: scene setting, character development, and dialogue.” – Click here to read the full review
Sean McGlynn – BBC History Magazine - “This is a great story, full of fascinating and odious characters corrupted by power, and O’Shea tells it well with a real sense of excitement that makes it a pleasure to read.” – Click here to read the full review
Stephen O’Shea’s website – includes an excerpt from the book