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The Friar of Carcassonne: Heresy and Inquisition in the Last Days of the Cathars
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Nearly a century had passed since Languedoc had been put to the sword in the fiery Albigensian Crusade, but the stain of Catharism still lay on the land in southern France. Any accusation of Catharism invited peril. But repression bred resentment, and in Carcassonne resistance began to stir. In 1300 a great orator emerged there and united the currents of resistance-a Franciscan friar named Bernard Delicieux. The forces ranged against him included the ruthless Pope Boniface VII, the Machiavellian French King Philip IV, and the grand inquisitor of Toulouse, Bernard Gui (the villain in "The Name of the Rose"). Having written the definitive chronicle of the Cathars, "The Perfect Heresy," Stephen O'Shea returns to the medieval world to chronicle a remarkable story of personal courage and principle standing up to power, as he relates the last vestiges of the endlessly fascinating Cathar world.