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The extraordinary true story of one woman’s journey to the heart of the Grail legend

Click for a large cover of CITY OF SECRETS.

It is 1955 and a fifteen-year-old girl, seeking adventure, escapes the greyness of post-war London for the cobbles, sunshine and romance of an ancient Catalan city. When she falls in love with the place she also falls for its charismatic leader.

As the years pass and the girl becomes a woman, she returns again and again to Girona and to her lover, the enigmatic José Tarres. She meets captivating characters and hears about visions, a strangely wealthy priest, a fabulous garden owned by a Frenchwoman... Cast as the detective in her own story, she finds herself caught up in a world she barely knew existed.

The rich priest was none other than the Abbé Saunière of Rennes-le-Château, and the mysteries surrounding him are at the very heart of the modern Grail legend – the stuff of bestselling novels and movies, historical analysis and esoteric intrigue. The people she has known for so many years, including José, belong to a secret society that guards Saunière’s legacy. Now they ask her to be their messenger. It is time, they say, to present some of their closely guarded secrets to the world. The astonishing result is City of Secrets.

Patrice Chaplin’s modern classic is a page-turning, true-life adventure, rich with photographs, remarkable letters and antique documents. This new edition features an Afterword in which Patrice reviews the impact of the book’s publication on her life, on Girona and its mysteries.

PATRICE CHAPLIN is an internationally renowned author and playwright who has published more than two dozen books. Her most notable works include Albany Park, Siesta (which was made into a film starring Jodi Foster and Isabella Rossellini), Into the Darkness Laughing, Hidden Star, Night Fishing and Death Trap. Her stage play From the Balcony was commissioned by London’s National Theatre in conjunction with Radio 3. As a Bohemian in Paris during the 50s and 60s, Patrice spent time with Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Married to Charlie Chaplin’s son, Michael, and living and working in Hollywood, she was friends with everyone from Lauren Bacall and Miles Davis, to Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau, who gave her a starring role in one of his films.

In her trilogy City of Secrets, The Portal and The Stone Cradle, Patrice opens the door to entirely new and compelling elements of the Rennes-le-Château mystery involving the enigmatic Catalan capital of Girona.

Patrice is the director of The Bridge, a non-profit organization that leads workshops based in the performing arts as a new and unique way to help fight addiction. She resides in North London.

Published in the UK by Clairview Books, 27 October 2020

£13.99; 364pp (8 pp colour plates); 21.5 x 13.5 cm; paperback; ISBN 9781912992188