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The Rough Guide to the Da Vinci Code: History, Legends, Locations [Paperback]

Michael Haag , Veronica Haag , James McConnachie , Michael Von Haag
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 25 Nov 2004 --  
There is a newer edition of this item:
The Rough Guide to The Da Vinci Code (Movie Edition) - Edition 2 The Rough Guide to The Da Vinci Code (Movie Edition) - Edition 2 4.4 out of 5 stars (22)
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Book Description

25 Nov 2004 Rough Guides Reference Titles
Dan Brown's thriller The Da Vinci Code has created an extraordinary Christian controversy, with its sub-plots of the feminine in religion, the bloodline of Christ, the legend of the Holy Grail, and the role of sects like Opus Dei within the church. This Rough Guide explores and explains the context of the novel, including: How the early Christian Church edited' The Bible, and adopted earlier religions. What art historians make of Leonardo Da Vinci's symbolism in the Last Supper and other works. The true history of the Holy Grail, the Priory of Sion, Opus Dei, and the debate on the bloodline of Christ. Location guides to Da Vinci Code sites in Paris, Rome, Jerusalem, New York, London and Edinburgh. Reviews of Da Vinci Code sources and a glossary of everything from the Templars to the Fibonaccci Sequence. Whatever you think of Dan Brown's novel, this Rough Guide has the key to understanding the worlds it inhabits.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides Ltd; First Edition edition (25 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843535173
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843535171
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 12 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 874,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Michael Haag, who lives in London, is a writer and historian. He has written widely on the Egyptian, Classical and Medieval worlds; and on the Mediterranean and the Middle East. He has also produced several photographic books, and he has broadcast for the BBC.
For more information visit his website at:
And his blog at:

Product Description

About the Author

Michael Haag is a historian, experienced author and freelance writer. Veronica Haag is a Classicist at University College London and is as much at home in Latin and ancient Greek as in French and English. Her interests lie in the history, literature, art and philosophy of the ancient world, and in their manifestation during the Renaissance. She has a particular admiration for Leonardo Da Vinci.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Book! 20 Jan 2005
The Rough Guide to The Da Vinci Code is a well-written, well-researched and serious investigation into the issues, themes and history raised by Dan Brown's thriller. I cannot rate it highly enough -- it is more than just a companion to The Da Vinci Code, it is a worthwhile work in its own right, a highly useful compendium of information on Gnosticism, Early Christianity, ancient history, goddess-worship, the Holy Grail, the Cathars, the sacred feminine and so on. Amid the plethora of silly books and outright rubbish concerning The Da Vinci Code, this Rough Guide stands out as a major and valuable contribution. The publishers and authors are to be congratulated.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and balanced book 16 Aug 2005
I have read this book with great interest and enjoyment. It certainly does not make any digs at Dan Brown, it simply states the facts. If the facts contradict what Dan Brown has written, that is the fault of Dan Brown. Dan Brown may have written a pretty good thriller but he has the historical and theological knowledge of a turnip. Whereas this book by Michael Haag and Veronica Haag is genuinely knowledgable -- and it is also a damn good read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Really Helpful Book 17 Nov 2005
Nobody has mentioned that this book is highly illustrated, with informative captions, which adds a further dimension to the value of this book. Also I find the website listings at the back of the book extremely helpful. This book has been very well thought out, and it is very helpful to everyone.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Informed and Excellent 5 April 2005
I take exception to the hairsplitting attitude of the previous reviewer. True, the Gospel of Mary was sold by a Cairo dealer at the end of the 19th century, but in content it is of a piece with other Gnostic gospels such as those turned up at Nag Hammadi. The truth is that this Rough Guide to the Da Vinci Code, which after all is aimed at the layman, does an excellent job of presenting the basic historical and theological context in which Dan Brown's book should be read. I recommend it to my students.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love dipping into this book 15 Feb 2005
I love dipping into this book. I open it up almost anywhere and start reading. It presents everything in such a fascinating and accessible way. I would never have thought that I would find theology and ancient and medieval history so interesting -- so well written, and often quite amusing too.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 7 July 2005
There have now been more than a handful of books promising to sort out the fact and fiction in Dan Brown's phenomenally successful DVC. I recommend this one by the Haags because it is very readable, in the best tradition of the Rough Guides. Physically, it is what a pocket-sized book should be like: handy and portable. Even more importantly, the book is readable in the sense that it is mostly comprehensible by itself even for those who have not read DVC, and enjoyable in its own right by laying out in an informed and stimulating manner the many contexts of DVC.
I confess that I fail to locate the errors claimed by another reviewer. On my copy (p.90), it is stated correctly that Urban II started the crusade in 1095. Neither did the Haags (p.131) deny the existence of the word "symbology", only that there was no such academic department or professorship at Harvard. I also disagree with a previous reviewer that the Haags are in the debunking mood of discrediting the premises and evidence of Brown's theory/plot. Quite the contrary, I find them very even-handed and are always being fair and objective to the allegations and allusions in DVC. For a book that is not academically oriented, this scholarly impartiality is admirable enough. If the book appears at times confusing, it may be because the Haags are trying to make (the best) sense of what is in fact not very defensible and coherent in DVC itself. The Haags are not even hostile to myth and legend as such. Indeed, any serious and sincere understanding of myth-making (the making of ANY myths including those endorsed by the power that be or embraced by the general public) should lead us not to the kind of triumphalism found in so many debunkers of DVC, but make us humble regarding OUR own collective or personal myths we live by.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book about The Da Vinci Code 29 Nov 2004
I read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and loved it, but I also had a lot of questions. Luckily I found this Rough Guide to The Da Vinci Code, and it filled me in on an entire world, gave me a tremendous amount of background material, and provided lots of internet links and books for further reading. Also this Rough Guide, as you might expect, has an entire section on Locations, that is Paris, London, Edinburgh, Rome, New York and Jerusalem, with maps and information telling you how to track down places mentioned in The Da Vinci Code, which makes it a great book to take on holiday.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Revelation! 9 Jan 2006
This book reveals the inside story of The Da Vinci Code, referring back to ancient sources. Really an inspiring and informative read. Absolutely sound historically. Highly recommended. Five stars!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I bought this for a friend's birthday as we both love the da vinci code movie and recently both read the book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lauren Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Coherent and comprehensive
I bought this companion to the hit novel by Dan Brown as a birthday present for a friend and haven't read it myself. Read more
Published on 9 May 2009 by Captain Pugwash
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm sure it would be a great book if I could actually understand it...
This was the ONLY book I could find on this topic that had pretty much 5 star ratings on every review. Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2006 by April McMahon
5.0 out of 5 stars The book for the FILM!
I have discovered that the new edition of The Rough Guide to The Da Vinci Code contains a huge amount of fascinating information about how the FILM was made. Read more
Published on 11 April 2006 by Deena Darke
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Dan Brown
This book is far more interesting than Dan Brown's novel, and is really worth a read, or keeping on your bookshelf as a reference work.
Published on 31 Jan 2006 by Polly Mathis
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Decrypt
This book is a brilliant work of decryption. It wonderfully analyses all the material in Dan Brown's novel -- historical, theological, etc -- and gives you the background... Read more
Published on 9 Jan 2006 by "stonehinge"
5.0 out of 5 stars Bibliography? Jeeezus, give us a break.
Michael Haag and Veronica Haag provide an extensive reading list in their Rough Guide to The Da Vinci Code, not to mention references to numerous websites. Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2005 by Ms Lisa Anom
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, but well-founded...?
I appreciated this Rough Guide edition as a comprehensive document of the facts behind The Da Vinci Code. It helped that it was also from a well-respected publisher. Read more
Published on 6 Oct 2005 by PhD
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing
Although this book has useful information, the dissapointment is in the nature of the scathing and somtimes sarcastic attacks on Dan Brown which, as another reviewer has written,... Read more
Published on 1 Aug 2005
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