the Treasure of Montsegur by Walter Birks and R.A. Gilbert
Hardback,dark blue bookcloth with gilt lettering to spine.
privately print run of 100 copies for the authors in 1995.
Signed and numbered copy No 62 of 100.
pp. 166 with 12 illustrations.
Montségur has a significant place in the history of Catharism. Located in the French Pyrenees, it holds an important place in history and became a symbol of resistance and resilience during the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars. It was a Cathar stronghold that played a central role in the Cathar movement, a medieval religious sect that emerged in the 12th century. It gained a symbolic and strategic importance in the resistance fight against the Catholic Church and the French forces, becoming the final stronghold of the Cathars. After enduring a siege lasting several months, the Cathars within the castle surrendered. Over 200 were burned at the stake in the nearby field, known as the “Field of the Burned”.
Walter Birks became an authority on the Cathars and later produced, with Dr. R.A. Gilbert, the Treasure of Montsegur, which explores and discusses the history of Catharism, although it has its roots in much older religious movements. In 1987 – almost 20 years after his retirement from teaching – he finally published his magnum opus on the subject. It was a joint publication with the writerRobert Gilbert, entitled opened up for the first time the truth about the Cathars and their secret treasure, a treasure that was essentially spiritual rather than material.