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Sifting myth from history, Piers Paul Read reveals the Templars - the multinational force of warrior monks, in their white tunics with red crosses over chainmail. They were t only unique among Christian institutions but constituted the first uniformed standing army in the western world and became pioneers of international banking. Expropriated by Philip IV of France in 1307, and confessing under torture to blasphemy, heresy and sodomy, the Order was finally suppressed by Pope Clement V in 1312. In a narrative that incorporates the story of the crusades and the many colourful characters who had links with the Templars, Piers Paul Read examines the question of their guilt and identifies their relevance to our own times. 'A highly readable and nicely paced book that draws on the lessons of modern historical scholarship while also communicating a sense of narrative excitement and drive' 'Evocative, measured and engaging' Evening Standard 'Magnificent in every way' Mail on Sunday
Piers Paul Read is a well-known journalist and the author of several acclaimed and bestselling works of fiction and non-fiction, including the phenomenal bestseller Alive!. He is married to Emily Read and they have four children. He is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday, the Evening Standard, The Times and the Spectator