From 1764 to 1767 a mysterious beast spread terror in Gévaudan and in the southern region of Auvergne, killing men, women and children.
The beast holds in check the gigantic battues lead by the most important hunters of the kingdom; she thwarts all traps, seems to be insensitive to gun shots. More than a hundred people die under her teeth. Michel Louis delivers from this famous affair a fascinating story: all attacks from the beast, all hunts, the terror felt in the countryside and the heroic actions of some farmers. Also the schemes from the powerful, excited by the lust of the honors and by the enormous rewards promised to the killer of the beast.
What was this animal of disconcerting appearance and behavior? We imagine the presence of sadistic killers in its shadow. Who are they? What role did they play? Did the personal emissary of King Louis XV betray the notable and the common people? At the closing of a meticulous investigation Michel Louis responds to these questions in the light of official documents; from oral tradition to modern zoology.
This work is the most comprehensive ever written on one of the most famous enigmas in France's history. It is also a plea in favor of the eternal accused, the wolf, as Michel Louis proves his innocence and asks for the wolf's rehabilitation.
Year of publication of the original edition : 1992
Year of publication of the presented edition : 2000 (February) (335 pages)
ISBN : 9782262017392
Previous edition : 1997
The author :
Michel Louisborn in 1955, has always had a passion for wild animals. In 1986, at the age of 31, he realized his childhood dream by creating a zoological park in Amneville, in Moselle (France), considered today as one of the most beautiful in Europe. His eye as a specialist in wild animals and animal behavior sheds new light on the history of the lions of Tsavo. He is already the author, published by Perrin, of La Bête du Gévaudan (2003).