There’s no more plagiarism in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code than there is in Shakespeare’s King Lear,” said Dan Burstein, editor of the bestselling book, SECRETS OF THE CODE: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code.
Burstein was reacting to the recent headline-making news from a court case in London where Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, stands accused of plagiarism by two writers of the 1982 bestseller, Holy Blood, Holy Grail.
“Perhaps no one in the world has studied the issue of the source materials for The Da Vinci Code as closely as our team of writers and editors in the ‘Secrets’ series,” continued Burstein. “I can say with confidence that, while we found Holy Blood, Holy Grail to be very important to The Da Vinci Code, it was far from being the only book with that distinction: dozens of other books, authors, and ideas were clearly critically important as well. Indeed, the very purpose of SECRETS OF THE CODE from its inception was to introduce the reader to the cornucopia of controversial and compelling ideas from a broad range of books and other sources that Dan Brown had obviously read, digested, and used in the storyline of his work of fiction in his own way.”
Burstein continued, “Shakespeare did the same thing-he borrowed the plot of King Lear and numerous other plays from prior plays. But then he added his proprietary Shakespearean touch, which made all the difference.”
SECRETS OF THE CODE lets readers explore for themselves what is fact and what is fiction in The Da Vinci Code, both the book as well as the forthcoming movie. SECRETS OF THE CODE has just been released in a new and updated paperback edition with significant new content. CDS Books, an imprint of the Perseus Books Group, announced today a first printing of half a million copies of Burstein’s book, which has come to be known as the world’s leading guidebook for understanding The Da Vinci Code phenomenon.
“The courtroom drama over the intellectual property at the heart of The Da Vinci Code is not really a battle over plagiarism,” said the award-winning author Dan Burstein. “Instead, it is a battle over the collective heritage of western civilization. These myths, legends, Jungian archetypes, alternative histories, and cosmological theories belong to all writers, to do what they will with them in fiction or nonfiction.”
SECRETS OF THE CODE was a New York Times nonfiction bestseller for five months when it was first published in hardcover and has been a bestseller in many of its 30 international editions as well. SECRETS OF THE CODE is a must-read for anyone interested in the plagiarism trial of Dan Brown or in the deeper, broader discussion of The Da Vinci Code-the novel, the upcoming movie, and the entire phenomenon that has so captivated Americans and people all over the world.
“In editing SECRETS OF THE CODE three years ago, long before the allegations of plagiarism surfaced, our editorial team sought out all the books Dan Brown might have used in his research, and licensed the right to present excerpts from many of them in our book,” Burstein observed. “We included an excerpt from Holy Blood, Holy Grail in SECRETS OF THE CODE because it was obviously one of the key books Brown relied upon.”
Holy Blood, Holy Grail isn’t the only fascinating or controversial take on the so-called “Holy Bloodline” or other key elements of the plot of The Da Vinci Code. Far from it. SECRETS OF THE CODE follows Dan Brown’s research into other works and authors that obviously influenced him as well, including Lynn Picknett’s The Templar Revelation, Margaret Starbird’s The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, Elaine Pagels’ The Gnostic Gospels and The Nag Hammadi Library edited by James Robinson.
In addition to excerpts from Holy Blood, Holy Grail and all the other key books used by Dan Brown in creating The Da Vinci Code, the new edition of SECRETS OF THE CODE features numerous chapters that will be of special interest to anyone following the London courtroom controversy. These include an extensive interview with Lewis Perdue, an American novelist who charged Dan Brown with plagiarism in an earlier court battle; essays about the hoaxes at the heart of the “Priory of Sion” and Rennes-le-Chateau legends; the 30 books of critical importance to understanding The Da Vinci Code; and a path-breaking 20,000-word biography of novelist Brown, written by the “Secrets” team’s investigative reporter, David A. Shugarts.
DAN BURSTEIN is the creator of the “Secrets” series, which, in addition to SECRETS OF THE CODE, includes Secrets of Angels & Demons, Secrets of the Widow’s Son, and Secrets of Mary Magdalene (to be published in October 2006), now has three million books in print worldwide. Edited by Burstein and business partner Arne de Keijzer, the “Secrets” books have been best-sellers in almost every major global publishing market. They have also been the basis for special collector’s issues of US News & World Report. SECRETS OF THE CODE is currently in production as a feature film documentary, directed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jonathan Stack. A two-hour documentary, Secrets of Angels, Demons & Masons, is available currently on DVD. Burstein is a much sought-out expert on the issues relating to The Da Vinci Code and has appeared on numerous television specials from the History Channel’s “Beyond the Da Vinci Code,” to Inside Edition and MSNBC.
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