The Da Vinci Code is a 2003 mystery thriller novel by American author Dan Brown.
It was published by the Doubleday Group in the United States and Bantam Books in the United Kingdom.
The Da Vinci Code became one of the first notable international literary events of the twenty-first century as soon as it was published.
The title of the novel refers to, among other things, the fact that the murder victim is found in the Denon Wing of the Louvre, naked and posed like Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing, the Vitruvian Man, with a cryptic message written beside his body and a pentacle drawn on his stomach in his own blood.
The novel follows symbologist Robert Langdon as he investigates a murder in Paris’s Louvre Museum and discovers a battle between the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei over the possibility of Jesus Christ having been married to and fathering a child with Mary Magdalene.
It is Brown’s second novel to include the character Robert Langdon – the first was his 2000 novel Angels & Demons.
Besides Robert Langdon Characters from the novel are:
Jacques Saunière – the grandmaster of the Priory of Sion, Curator of Louvre Museum.
Sophie Neveu – a cryptologist of the French police and granddaughter of Saunière.
Bezu Fache – a member of Opus Dei and a French police captain.
Silas / The Monk – a member of Opus Dei who murders Saunière and the secondary antagonist of the novel.
Manuel Aringarosa– a bishop of the Vatican and member of Opus Dei.
Sister Sandrine – a Seneschal of the Priory of Sion and nun of St. Sulpice.
André Vernet – a guard of Zurich bank.
Sir Leigh Teabing / The Teacher – a Grail scholar and British expatriate living in Paris, and the main antagonist of the novel.
Rémy Legaludec – a maid who assists Teabing.
Jérôme Collet – a French police lieutenant and Fache’s deputy.
Marie Chauvel Saint-Clair – Sophie’s grandmother.
The book has been translated into over 44 languages, primarily hardcover.
The Da Vinci Code history was pure fabrication. There is no ancient connection whatsoever, and the documents have been considered a hoax for nearly two decades. In fact, de Cherisey admitted to his forgery in court, and the BBC did a full documentary on the matter in the 1990’s. The expose included letters from the late 1950’s among Plantard, de Cherisey, and a man named Gerard de Sede, which confirmed their hoax in detail and how they would counter criticisms with new information and allegations to keep the conspiracy going for as long as possible.
The book generated criticism for inaccurate description of core aspects of Christianity and descriptions of European art, history, and architecture. The book has received mostly negative reviews from Catholic and other Christian communities.
Many critics took issue with the level of research Brown did when writing the story. The New York Times writer Laura Miller characterized the novel as “based on a notorious hoax”, “rank nonsense”, and “bogus”, saying the book is heavily based on the fabrications of Pierre Plantard, who is asserted to have created the Priory of Sion in 1956.
Religious leaders, Christian scholars, historians, and media figures reacted strongly to Brown’s novel. In 2004, it was banned from Lebanon when Catholic leaders protested against its content. In 2005, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone publicly responded to the claims of the novel, which he called “a castle of lies.” A series of reactionary books bent on disproving the novel’s theories emerged, and documentaries exploring the controversies it brings out were aired on networks from ABC to the History Channel. As of 2005, Columbia Pictures was developing the film adaptation, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, and Ian McKellen, to be released in 2006.
The Da Vinci Code was a major success in 2003 and was outsold only by J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It sold 80 million copies worldwide.
Columbia Pictures adapted the novel to film, with a screenplay written by Akiva Goldsman, and Academy Award winner Ron Howard directing. The film was released on May 19, 2006, and stars Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu, and Sir Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing. During its opening weekend, moviegoers spent an estimated $77 million in America, and $224 million worldwide.
The writerr Dan Brown was born on June 22, 1964 in Exeter, New Hampshire. His mother was a professional musician who specialized in sacred works, and his father, Richard Brown, was a Presidential Award-winning math teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy. After attending Exeter himself and graduating in 1982, Brown went to Amherst College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 1986. He returned to teach at Phillips as an English instructor.