In 1764, France was a tumultuous place. On the eve of Revolution, the peasant farmers of the remote region of Gévaudan were suffering from decades of difficulties, brought about by war, poverty, poor agricultural conditions and plague. As the Summer brought about favourable weather and life for the population of the barren and sparse region should have begun an upswing in fortune, a series of attacks marked the beginning of a reign of terror that would last almost three years, headed by a monster known simply as “The Beast”. Bodies were found half eaten, the remains left on the ground spreading a fear throughout the region that would eclipse all of the previous problems and would escalate the situation as high as the court of the King.
Smith, J.M (2011) Monsters of the Gévaudan: The Making of a Beast. Harvard University Press, 2011.
This day arrived, the mail from France & Flanders (1764, November 30), The Derby Mercury, p.2.
Tuesday’s Post, Utrecht Nov. 29. (1764, December 8), The Oxford Journal, p.1.
Thursday’s Post, Foreign Affairs (1765, January 26), The Oxford Journal, p.2.
Foreign News (1765, March 9), The Ipswich Journal, p.2.
Affairs in Italy, Spain, Portugal etc. (1765, October 7), The Scots Magazine, p.43.
Extract of a letter from Paris, Oct 4 (1765, October 25), Derby Mercury, p.2.
Soulier, Bernard (2012) D’où était Agnès Giral? (2012, December 12), Gazette de la Bête, p.3
Sée, Henri (2004) Economic and Social Conditions in France During the Eighteenth Century. Batoche Books, 2004.
Bonet, Alain (2019) La Bête du Gévaudan: Chronologie et Documentation Raisonnées. Bonet, 2019.
For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com
Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast
Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories
& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/
Or you can contact us directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt
Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017
Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.