From 1764 to 1767, the Gévaudan region of France was terrorised by an unidentified animal of extraordinary ferocity which killed or maimed nearly two hundred people. Many of its victims were children.
Despite the best efforts of the authorites to muster search parties, and despite the personal involvement of King Louis XV himself, who sent his best wolf-hunters to track it down, for three years the beast rampaged through the beautiful countryside, spreading terror and carnage.
All the more frightening was the fact that it seemed to be indestructible; no matter how many times it was reported to have been killed, the beast soon showed that it was still very much alive.
For more than twenty years, Jean-Claude Bourret has researched this extraordinary chapter of French history.
He has assembled all the official documents of the period and succeeded in getting to the heart of the mystery surrounding the beast and the various theories which have been put forward about it : that it was a specially trained hyena; that it was a debauched aristocrat who put on a wolf's skin in order to commit acts of depravity; that it was some kind of dog, brought up to be aggressive, wearing body armour; that it was an alien creature from another world.......and many, many others.
Now, after the most rigorous examination of the evidence by a journalist whose own great-great-grandparents lived in the region, worked the land, and saw the beast with their own eyes, the definitive truth can be revealed - as you will discover in the two-volume edition of 'Secret de la Bête du Gévaudan', illustrated by Julian Grycan: an extraordinary, and mesmerising, true story.
I discovered this book at Simply, in Aumont-Aubrac, on the St. Chély d'Apcher road, but you should also be able to get hold of a copy at FNAC - About €15
Thanks to Malcolm Mc Donald for the translation
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