Unberto Eco's book appeared a decade or so before 'Da Vinci Code' which is often compared to it.
Asked whether he'd read the Brown novel, Eco replied:"I was obliged to read it because everybody was asking me about it. My answer is that Dan Brown is one of the characters in my novel Foucault’s Pendulum, which is about people who start believing in occult stuff.
- But you yourself seem interested in the kabbalah, alchemy and other occult practices explored in the novel.
No. In Foucault’s Pendulum I wrote the grotesque representation of these kind of people. So Dan Brown is one of my creatures."
I presumably am also one of Eco's creatures as I went to Paris after reading the book to see the location of the opening sequence involving Casaubon one of the three main characters.
For a time there were, and maybe still are, Da Vinci Code tours in the UK. Can't imagine the same for Eco's novel but then again Ruth is stranger than Richard.