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- DescriptionThe Affair of the Poisons was the greatest court scandal of the seventeenth century. From 1679 to 1682 the French crown investigated more than 400 people - including Louis XIV's official mistress and members of the highest-ranking circles at court - for sensational crimes. In Strange Revelations , Lynn Mollenauer brings this bizarre story to life, exposing a criminal magical underworld thriving in the heart of the Sun King's capital. The macabre details of the Affair of the Poisons read like a gothic vel. In the fall of 1678, Nicolas de la Reynie, head of the Paris police, uncovered a plot to poison Louis XIV. La Reynie's subsequent investigation unveiled a loosely knit community of sorceresses, magicians, and renegade priests who offered for sale an array of services and products ranging from abortions to love magic to poisons kwn as inheritance powders. It was the inheritance powders (usually made from powdered toads steeped in arsenic) that lent the Affair of the Poisons its name. The purchasers of the powders gave the affair its toriety, for the scandal extended into the most exalted ranks of the French court. Mollenauer adroitly uses the Affair of the Poisons to uncover the hidden forms of power that men and women of all social classes invoked to achieve their goals. While the exercise of state power during the ancient regime was quintessentially visible - ritually displayed through public ceremonies - the affair exposes the simultaneous presence of other imagined and real sources of power available to the Sun King's subjects: magic, poison, and the manipulation of sexual passions. Highly entertaining yet deeply researched, Strange Revelations will appeal to anyone interested in the history of court society, gender, magic, or crime in early modern Europe.
- Author BiographyLynn Wood Mollenauer is Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
- Author(s)Lynn Wood Mollenauer
- PublisherPennsylvania State University Press
- Date of Publication10/01/2007
- SubjectRegional History
- Series TitleMagin in History Series
- Place of PublicationPennsylvania
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPennsylvania State University Press
- Content Note6 illustrations
- Weight494 g
- Width159 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine21 mm
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