by Sylvia Davey
Authentic First Novel About the Cathars in the Aude and Ariege
I live near Quillan in the Aude and have a fascination for the Cathars who lived in my area and the Ariège during the 13th and 14th centuries. I have just written my first novel about them, in particular about the villainous priest of the village of Montaillou in the Pyrenees. My characters are all authentic and refreshingly not kings and queens or other toffs. Definitely different.
Pierre Clergue, the priest of my title, was a relentless womaniser, a manipulative bully and, together with his brother, Bernard, who was the village bailiff, controlled the village and its people within his tight fists.
He had little of the priest in him. Was he even a Catholic? Perhaps he was one of those Cathar heretics the French Inquisition were hunting down? And burning!
When the fingers of the Inquisition begin to point at Clergue himself, will he be able to use his manipulative charms to save himself, as he has in the past?
We know about these people because the Bishop who interrogated them, Jacques Fournier, later became Pope Benedict X11 and took the Latin records of the court proceedings with him to the Vatican, where they remained hidden for centuries.
Read to find out what happens next…