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The affair of the poisons : murder, infanticide, and Satanism at the court of Louis XIV

Author: Anne Somerset
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2004.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st U.S. edView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The Affair of the Poisons, as it became known, was an extraordinary episode that took place in France during the reign of Louis XIV. When poisoning and black magic became widespread, arrests followed. Suspects included those among the highest ranks of society. Many were tortured and numerous executions resulted." "The 1676 torture and execution of the Marquise de Brinvilliers marked the start of the scandal that
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Marie-Madeleine Gobelin Brinvilliers, marquise de; Montespan, Madame de; Marie-Madeleine Gobelin Brinvilliers, marquise de; Montespan, Madame de
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Anne Somerset
ISBN: 0312330170 9780312330170
OCLC Number: 55511430
Notes: Originally published: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003.
Description: xxii, 377 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Principal Characters --
Mme de Brinvilliers --
Louis XIV and his Court --
Sex and the Sun King --
The First Arrests --
La Voisin --
The Magician Lesage --
A Court in Chaos --
Accusations Against Mme de Montespan --
The Chamber is Suspended --
The End of the Affair.
Responsibility: Anne Somerset.
More information:

Abstract:

"The Affair of the Poisons, as it became known, was an extraordinary episode that took place in France during the reign of Louis XIV. When poisoning and black magic became widespread, arrests followed. Suspects included those among the highest ranks of society. Many were tortured and numerous executions resulted." "The 1676 torture and execution of the Marquise de Brinvilliers marked the start of the scandal that rocked the foundations of French society and sent shock waves through all of Europe. Convicted of conspiring with her adulterous lover to poison her father and brothers in order to secure the family fortune, the marquise was the first member of the noble class to fall."

"In the French court of the period, where sexual affairs were numerous, ladies were not shy of seeking help from the murkier elements of the Parisian underworld, and fortune-tellers supplemented their dubious trade by selling poison." "It was not long before the authorities were led to believe that Louis XIV himself was at risk. With the chief of Paris police alerted, every hint of danger was investigated. Rumors abounded, and it was not long before the king ordered the setting up of a special commission to investigate the poisonings and bring offenders to justice. No one, the king decreed, no matter how grand, would be spared having to account for his or her conduct."

"The royal court was soon thrown into disarray. The Mistress of the Robes and a distinguished general were among the early suspects. But they paled into insignificance when the king's mistress was incriminated. If, as was said, she had engaged in vile satanic rituals and had sought to poison a rival for the king's affections, what was Louis XIV to do?"--Jacket.

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