Books & Literature

Book Review: The Persecution of the Templars, by Alain Demurger

A well-researched history of the downfall and persecution of the mysterious Knights Templar from 1305 to the burning at the stake of its leaders in 1314.

A book originally written in French, this version has been skilfully translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan. It tells in detail, the story of the downfall and persecution of the Knights Templar from 1305 to the burning at the stake of leaders in the Order, Jacques de Molay and Geoffrey de Channay in 1314. It is meticulously researched and a scholarly piece of work but at the same time, has been translated in a narrative style that is easy to read and quite chatty in places.

The content is quite confronting, as you would imagine, but shines a light on the day-to-day occurrences affecting the members of the Order in their final days, until and during the trial. It gives evidence that the Order was not as small as once thought and there were in fact, at least two women who had roles of significance. You are shown both first-hand accounts and documentary evidence about the arrest, imprisonment and torture suffered when the French King declared the Order was complicit in acts of heresy.

I picked this book up due to an interest that is developing about the Templars and their role in the history and development of today’s society. I have watched many documentaries detailing pieces of the story and illuminating the long sought-after treasure with links to other written pieces. This book has provided documented and extremely well-referenced information that not only fills in many of the gaps in my knowledge, but has shown the historically story in a new light.

The appendices are fascinating in and of themselves, giving exact dates and participants in several councils/activities. If you are not used to reading referenced material, persevere as you will soon get used to it and will find the entire book a captivating read.

A must-have for anyone who has an historical interest in the mysterious Knights Templar.

Reviewed by Leanne Caune

Rating out of 10:  9

Distributed by: Allen and Unwin
Released: October 2018
RRP: $49.99

Image at the top of this article was sourced from: Realm of History

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