Believing in a radical separation of good and evil, flesh and spirit, the heretical medieval Cathar sect separated themselves from the rest of the world, often in soaring castles or fortified churches. The full power of the Church was unleashed against these heretics, but after an Inquisition failed to bring them back to the fold armed force was used in one of the bloodiest episodes in Christian history - the Albigensian Crusade. This stirring book recreates medieval Languedoc and the rich array of characters who died for their beliefs under the hot Provencal sun. Aubrey Burl's new book is a vivid account of the way the Crusade and its legacy turned and twisted for over a hundred years. He focuses on the personalities on both sides, their motivations and objectives, creating for the modern reader an overwhelming impression of the powerful beliefs that drove persecutor and victim. The Albigensian Crusade and the heresy it sought to suppress were of enormous significance in medieval Europe. For the modern reader, the Crusade offers an early example of the persecution of dissident minorities that has dogged European history.