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From the PublisherThis book is beautifully written. While it is, generally, a work of synthesis, the sources have been read afresh in the context of recent research. Barber's cool common sense gives a chance to see the religion and the society in which it became rooted in a new light. Highly recommended, but it will disappoint romantics.
Jonathan Riley-Smith, Times Higher Educational Supplement
The book is especially notable for its careful and sensitive attempt to see the Cathars and their beliefs in a concrete, localised context. The author has done his homework on the regional geography and topography of Languedoc to good effect; the location, role and significance of the castrum, or fortified village, which made Catharism as much a rural as an urban heresy, is particularly well set out.
Malcolm Vale, English Historical Review