Graham Robb: The Bête du Gévaudan, 19 May 2011
Show More Monsters of the Gévaudan: The Making of a Beast by Jay Smith.
Harvard, 378 pp., £25.95, March 2011, 978 0 674 04716 7Show More
“... In the summer of 2007, Jay Smith, who teaches history at the University of North Carolina, was in Paris collecting information for a book about a mysterious beast that terrorised the remote French province of the Gévaudan between 1764 and 1767. One day, while lunching on the place de la Sorbonne, he was warned of a terrible danger. His companion, a French academic, told him that if he published a book about the Bête du Gévaudan he would not be ‘taken seriously’ by his fellow historians, ‘the subject was so firmly associated with the realm of popular entertainment ...”