On the 19th day of July 1767, Jean Chastel killed the Beast. And it certainly was the Beast - the right one - because after that, nobody else was ever the victim of an attack in the region again.
Today, documents of the period can be collated and studied by those with an expert interest in the topic, enabling specialists in rural history to construct hypotheses and form suppositions, and novelists to dream up various story-lines. Computers and information technology make all this accessible.
With the Beast buried and out of the way once and for all, Legend was able to spread its wings and take flight.
And there it has flown ever since, and will continue to fly, soaring in the skies over Gévaudan, above the forests and the countryside of Margeride where it first came to life, covering a whole region with its enormous wings, sustaining a succession of novelists, historians, story-tellers and film-makers, ramblers and promoters of 'green' tourism.
You can challenge a theory.
You can disprove an argument.
You can never kill a Legend.
Year of publication of the presented edition : 2003
Roger Lagrave (1923-2021) wanted to introduce the wealth of his department to as many people as possible. He became a local editor, from his home in La Salle-Prunet. Artisan of the Gévaudan-Cévennes editions, he published magazines that dealt with the history, geography, geology, tales and legends of Lozère and Gévaudan.