The Affair of the Poisons

The Affair of the Poisons : Murder, Infanticide and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV

3.69 (479 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

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Description

The 'Affair of the Poisons' was a scandal at which 'all France trembled' and which 'horrified the whole of Europe' as it implicated a number of prominent persons at the court of King Louis XIV in the late 17th century. Parisian society was seized by a fad for spiritualist seances, fortune- telling, and the use of love potions. The most celebrated case was that of La Voisin, a midwife and fortune-teller whose real name was Catherine Deshayes Monvoisin and whose clientele included the Marquise de Montespan, Olympe Mancini and Marshal Luxembourg. No formal charges were made, and there is no evidence that they were seriously implicated, yet a permanent stain was left on their names. La Voisin was burned as a poisoner and a sorceress in 1680. A special court was instituted to judge cases of poisoning and witchcraft, and the poison epidemic came to an end in France.This bizarre witchhunt, which embroiled the gilded denizens of Versailles with the most sordid dregs of Paris society, remains both a fascinating enigma and an utterly compelling story.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 38mm | 458.14g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 12
  • 0753817845
  • 9780753817841
  • 1,539,572

About Anne Somerset

Anne Somerset is the author of such best-sellers as Elizabeth I and Unnatural Murder. She read history at King's College, London, and for two years worked as a research assistant for historians such as Hugh Thomas, Antonia Fraser and Nigel Fisher. She is married with one daughter and lives in London.show more

Rating details

479 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 23% (111)
4 37% (175)
3 30% (143)
2 8% (37)
1 3% (13)

Our customer reviews

This was a very enjoyable read, providing a detailed history of the Affair of the Poisons and the work of the Chambre Ardente set up to provide juristiction over all allegations. The text is deeply rooted in historical proof, making frequent references to various sources, and successfully steers clear of reproducing the exaggerated, juiciest pieces of gossip which are frequently associated with the event. However I was left with the unsatisfactory feeling that some form of analysis of the affair had been neglected completely.show more
by Ariel Armarego-Marriott
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