In another eclectic conversation with Mr C today, we somehow roamed from the Battle of Thermopylae to Rennes-le-Château. Who doesn't adore madey-uppy conspiracy theories!
At a conference seven or eight years ago I met an archaeologist who was all mysterious innuendo about a place called Rennes-le-Château. The name rang a bell, and I wondered "That's not that loopy Holy-Blood-and-the-Holy-Grail place, with the bloodline of Jesus traced through King Clovis and the Merovingian kings, ooooh creepy..."
I wondered this aloud. It turns out it was Mr Archaeologist's life work. Ahem. I made my excuses and went to be somewhere that was away.
Anyhoo, part of the R-L-C myth is that super-secret 18th-century parchments were 'discovered' by a cleric in 1891. They were in code, but the cleric managed to decipher it; they hinted at hidden treasure yadda yadda yadda.
It turns out that Mr C was consulted about these parchments, to get a Codebreaker's point of view (which was that they were madey-uppy).
Of course, since The Dastardly Da Vinci Codswallop the conspiracy is more popular than ever. Can you imagine if everyone who has read that book also read Foucault's Pendulum? The world would be a smarter place, and we'd all smile more.
Off to read this book in the sunshine now, and appreciate a day without apartment-gutting noises filling the air.