Some twenty or so books on the Beast of Gévaudan have already been written, so what is the point of dealing with a such a familiar topic when so many historians have covered the ground before?
My answer, in a nutshell, is this: if I have written this book it is because I am totally convinced that there is still something more to say.
The fact is that the central character is an animal, and it is clear that historians, admirable enough in their own way when they are dealing with history, tend to fall down on their knowledge of zoology and all that relates to the animal kingdom.
Reading the books of my predecessors I have been struck by so many errors due to this total ignorance of animal behaviour that I felt very keenly the need for something that would not be groping round in the darkness in this particular aspect.
Of course I cannot claim to have completely elucidated the sombre history of the Beast of Gévaudan, but I think I can say that from now on, it will be rather more clear than it was before, and a bit more realistic ... or at least, a bit less unrealistic.
Year of publication of the presented edition : 1984