when the Beast of Gevaudan prowled between Saugues and Langeac
For three years in the 18th century, a man-eating beast ravaged the ancient diocese of Gévaudan which today is in the department of Lozère and the township of Saugues.
Over the course of its last two years, this animal stayed mainly between Saugues and Pinol while often approaching the region of Langeac, which at the time was part of Auvergne.
Children guarding herds of cattle or women working in the field were its habitual prey.
The best hunters in the kingdom tracked it to a gorge in Allier. 250 years ago, next to Saint Julien de Chazes, a famous hunter who had been sent there by king Louis XV himself killed a large wolf with the help of gunmen from Langeac, an animal they thought for a while was the only one devouring people.
On June 19, 1767 the last animal was killed on Mt. Mouchet in the township of Pinols, ending the famous episode of the “Beast of Gévaudan” which was also a little bit a “Beast of Auvergne”! This book contains the well-documented historical record of these extraordinary events.
Year of publication of the presented edition : 2015 (64 pages)
Editor : Édition de l’Arzalier
Pierre Benoist was born in 1947 to a Altiligienne family living between Prades and Auteyrac. He returned to the land of childhood where his ancestors had lived for generations and when he retired he moved into the old family house. He doesn’t call himself a writer, or a historian, but instead a simple “word-linker” who tries to bring the history of past men to those in the present in order to preserve it for the future. Passionate about history and genealogy, he has explored many archives and libraries in his quest to discover the history of the Haut Loire valley.
Bernard Soulier is the president of the historical association “In the country of the Beast of Gévaudan”. A native of Auvergne near the foot of Mt. Mouchet, he has spent 40 years tirelessly searching for new documents to explain this bloody episode which remains one of the greatest mysteries in the history of France.