The author, in continuation of the reference work by Mr. Poucher and Mr. Fabre, developed a polished and very objective study of this tragedy, unique because of the character of this wild animal and its ferocity.
All events are chronologically mentioned. The numerous stories and exchanges of letters between protagonists, hunters, farmers, priests, nobles and witnesses of the dramas, are noted and analyzed. Therefore the correspondences reveal a split society in this ordeal; split between he obscurantism of the country and the modern cynical realism of the Court of Versailles.
The nature of the Beast takes shape as we read the pages and becomes established. Even though uncommon, the beast will finally be perceived as most natural and most worrisome.
In consequence, the various theories on the identity of the monster are examined closely with the necessary impartiality. The illustrator "Porspican" found himself confronted with the impossible: keep the works appealing to the general public without erasing the violence of the attacks and the murders. At a time when a King of France was battling an elusive beast, the variety of his art opened a window on the Gévaudan.
In the heart of Southern France, in June 1764, a mysterious creature rose from the darkest forest and began a deadly and terrifying trek. We were in the age of enlightenment. The sanguinary, unpredictable Beast would suddenly appear; cutting the throat, eating alive young shepherds and shepherdess tending to their livestock. At other times she would enter villages, kidnapping children, their bloody remnants later to be found.
The fear pervading the Gévaudan spread to plateaux and meadows of l'Aubrac, reaching the wild forested area of la Margeride. All was fear: to the trembling of bushes under the spring wind, the sudden flight of a bird from the summer wheat field , to the creak of branches in the frosted forests of winter.
Year of publication of the presented edition : 2009 (195 pages)
Editor : Société des Écrivains
The author :
Patrice Esnoux is an author, illustrator, wood carver, painter.