A Case of Witchcraft: The Trial of Urbain Grandier

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 296 pages
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An extraordinary tale of passion, intrigue, and revenge, A Case of Witchcraft is the true story of Urbain Grandier, a seventeenth-century priest who was accused and found guilty of sorcery. Although popularised by Aldous Huxley's The Devils of Loudun, the story has never been told in its entirety. Robert Rapley provides a compelling new interpretation of the case, revealing startling evidence of a secret conspiracy to destroy the priest that went as high as Louis XIII.
As a Catholic priest, Grandier was an influential figure in the Loudun community and local government. A brilliant speaker, he was popular with his parishioners. But he had enemies, including Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIII, who was trying to wrest political autonomy from local governors and centralise power in Paris. Grandier's support of the governor of Loudun meant that he was seen as an enemy of the crown. In addition, the debonair priest's romantic intrigues brought him into conflict with some of the town's most influential power brokers.
When a nearby convent of Ursuline nuns began experiencing strange visions and hallucinations, Grandier's enemies seized the opportunity to orchestrate his downfall. These mass possessions, which spread through the convent despite attempts at exorcism, were regarded as witchcraft and Grandier was accused of having caused them. Condemned by Richelieu and the king, Grandier was tortured and burned at the stake for his alleged crimes. He maintained his innocence to the end. This tale of conspiracy, corruption, and mass hysteria provides a fascinating exploration of human behaviour and community dynamics.

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Twelve Good Years
Grandier and His Bishop
Destruction and Plague
Grandier the Accused
Bishop versus Archbishop
Appeal of Innocence
Torture and Death
Grandier through the Ages 2 11

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Page 271 - Examen et discussion critique de l'histoire des diables de Loudun , de la possession des religieuses TJrsulines et de la condamnation d'Urbain Grandier, par de la Menardaye.
Page 269 - HISTOIRE d'Urbain Grandier, condamné comme magicien, et comme auteur de la possession des religieuses ursulines de Loudun, par M.
Page 276 - Histoire abrégée de la possession des Ursulines de Loudun, et des peines du Père Surin.

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About the author (2001)

Robert Rapley is the author of A Case of Witchcraft: The Trial of Urbain Grandier. A retired civil servant, he lives in Ottawa.

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