Two for the Price of One!
This summer we are feeling generous!
And so, until September 2017 you can buy two books for the price of one. How's that?
There are three "sets", each set consisting of two books that complement or relate to each other.
First; Bérenger Saunière and Marie d'Ables
It is one hundred years since Bérenger Saunière died, on the 22nd January 1917, after his fatal stroke on the 17th. Someone suggested Val should write the story of his life and when she looked at what was already available among the books written about Rennes-le-Château in English, most were about the mysteries and the treasure; not one was a biography of its famous priest, Bérenger Saunière. She delved into his life and character; you can read more about the book here.
The aristocratic lady, Marie d'Ables, lived in the château at Rennes-le-Château from 1732 until her death not long before the Revolution. She came as the bride of François d'Hautpoul; the Hautpouls were the oldest aristocratic family in France, dating from the 5th century when the Visigoths came administer Languedoc for the Romans. François swept her off to Rennes-le-Château because she was an orphan whose guardian had murdered a priest. But they separated after the death of their son, and François practiced secret beliefs that mirrored the whole heretic history of the ancient region ruled from Rennes-le-Château itself. (See more here.)
One hundred and twenty years after Marie d'Ables died in the château Hautpoul, the priest Bérenger Saunière arrived.
Second; The Sacred River and Alet-les-Bains
The two villages of Rennes-les-Bains and Alet-les-Bains were both Celtic and then Roman in origin, they both had healing thermal baths and they were both beside rivers, the Sals at Rennes and the Aude at Alet. And they are both linked with the story of Mary Magdalene and Jesus who came to this region after they left Judea in 33AD. At that time, Languedoc had been Roman for 200 years. Who was it that said; "Everything is connected to everything else, there are no coincidences"? See more about The Sacred River here and more about Alet here.
Third; The Mayor That Was Me and Usson Pyrenean Castle
Val has had other adventures in Languedoc, in which Rennes-le-Château plays a much smaller part. The Mayor That Was Me tells Val's reincarnation story set in the heart of the Occitan culture, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Occitan was the first language of the people but the government wanted to suppress it. Val says herself there is no proof of reincarnation, but as she found coincidence after coincidence piling up, links and connections solidifying, she was tempted to believe; and in the end found her own sort of unconventional "proof." She also found that her previous life was a poet and a writer like herself; indeed, he was a well-known Occitan poet. The interest in this not-so-old language of Languedoc is increasing steadily in the region; the old manuscripts, and the music, are both moving and original. It was the language spoken by the Cathars and sung by the troubadours. For more, click here.
The story of Usson reveals an insider's eye - Val is a personal friend of the Englishman who once owned it until the local mayor decided they want it to make a museum . . . oh, chicanery! The Englishman was David Warr, who later became the English Distributor for Val Wineyard Publishing. Val has known David for many years. Way back in 1990, when a mutual friend suggested she contacted David about visiting the castle he had bought in the Pyrenees, and she had planned a holiday touring Languedoc, she visited this remote place with its romantic ruined castle, perched on a crag.
Many French people believe the Treasure of Montségur was hidden at Usson, after four brave Cathars took in from Montségur by abseiling down a cliff. Meanwhile, the great lady Esclarmonde d'Alion, from Usson, played her role in defending Montségur; but what happened to her then? Val found out. For more about Usson, Pyrenean Castle, click here.