Here is a history of the famous beast, written by a mountain man, Henri Pourrat.
The first testimony comes from a young cowgirl, saved by her cows who surround and protect her in 1764.
A long series of dramas follow - we are talking about a fantastic beast: the imprint of its feet, its size, red patches in its fur, its feline agility, its cunning…. all give credence to every hypothesis. The stories are incredible. The beast acts like a showman, torturing baby goats to flush out a hiding shepherd and attack him. Is it a witch? A werewolf?
They are related: all the attacks of the beast, the heroic fighting back of the children or of the mothers trying to snatch the victims away from the monster, the hunts which were always in vain, the royal decisions, the rewards offered.
Finally, after three years, the enormous beast is killed without effort during a hunt. It is a monster with red hair, with a huge gap between its two jaws of 45 centimeters.
The decomposing body is carried to Versailles: that is the end of the Gévaudan mystery.
Year of publication of the presented edition : 2003 (Réimpression de l’édition de 1946)
Editor : Jeanne Laffitte
The author :
Henri Pourrat (1887-1959) French writer and ethnologist known for his collection of oral literature from the Auvergne region. A poet, a romantic and a storyteller, he never left the Auvergne area where he was born. Sick as an adolescent, he led an isolated life devoted to his literature. He was a friend to many great artists like the engraver Henri Charlier, the sculptor Philippe Kaeppelin (who would illustrate several of his books, like“The Faithful History of the Beast of Gévaudan”), and the photographer Albert Monier…