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Two hundred and fifty years ago, a ferocious and unknown beast raged between June 1764 and June 1767 in Gévaudan and in the southern borders of Auvergne, killed around eighty people, women and children, injured at least as much, and terrorized the local population.
This story had a very strong impact at the time, the press having disseminated and popularized it, the clergy and the public authorities being strongly involved. From the 20th century, the enigma focused on the nature of the beast and many often contradictory theses arose.
By replacing the story of the beast in the history of France, by taking up information on the facts related at the time and deemed reliable, by expanding the documentary sources on hunting techniques from the end of the 18th century, and by comparing this affair to other cases of predatory beasts up to the present day, the objective of this book has been to come up with a thesis that can answer the enigma.
Illustrated with numerous graphs and maps, this book begins by tracing the history of the beast in its various facets: the historical context, the attacks, the hunts, the feelings of the population, the wounds.
Then, the author proceeds to the methodical analysis of the enigma to propose, in coherence with the facts, an answer to the following questions “Who was the beast? and "Where did she come from?" »
Year of publication of the presented edition : 2022 (January, 13) (305 pages)
Editor : Les trois colonnes
The author :
Xavier Paul was born in Pas-de-Calais, far from Gévaudan. For more than twenty years, he has spent most of his free time in Haute-Loire near Saugues in the house of his wife Marie-Christine. He was thus able to discover and love this region. Curious, methodical, passionate about history, he became interested in the affair of the beast, intrigued and surprised by the diversity of theses. Arrived at the age of retirement, and as there are not several truths, the author wanted without prejudice to deepen, understand and deliver his analysis.