The Beast of Gévaudan
Between June 30, 1764 and June 19, 1767, a beast sowed terror in the French countryside in the region of Gévaudan (which roughly corresponds today to the region of Lozère). The story of the “Beast of Gévaudan” very quickly outruns many of the facts and gives birth instead to superstition and sensationalist accounts. The royal administration sends troops to eliminate the beast and put an end to all these misinterpretations.
Because the creature kills and dismembers men, women and children, and is responsible for around a hundred murders, one doesn’t know whether it is wolf, a dog, a hyena…. A werewolf perhaps? The rumor spreads….
Year of publication of the original edition : 1858
Year of publication of this current edition : 2019 (407 pages)
Éditeur : Libretto
The author :
Élie Berthet was born on June 8, 1815, in Limoges and died on February 1, 1891 in Paris. He was a French writer, writer of serial dramas, popular novels, historical fiction and books for young people. A popular novelist of the 2nd Empire, he published the first book on this affair. Appearing in 1858, his Beast of Gévaudan achieved immediate success.
He wrote every genre and even invented new genres. His novels on crime read like detective stories before their time. Man of the Woods (1861) is considered a precursor to Tarzan and he is the first to write a prehistoric novel, before the Rosny brothers, called Paris before History (1884, recently republished). The Miners of the Polignies (1866) was one of the inspirations for Zola’s Germinal.