|About the Book|
Like his best-selling novel The Ogre, Michel Tourniers Gilles & Jeanne is a brilliant fictional appropriation of resonant historical events. It deals with the relationship between Jeanne dArc and Gilles de Rais, one of the French nobles whoMoreLike his best-selling novel The Ogre, Michel Tourniers Gilles & Jeanne is a brilliant fictional appropriation of resonant historical events. It deals with the relationship between Jeanne dArc and Gilles de Rais, one of the French nobles who rallied to the cause of the Dauphin and fought by Jeannes side. After her death, he retreated to his castle in the Vendee and became obsessed with alchemy and the black arts. In 1440, nine years after Jeannes immolation, Gilles himself went to the stake, condemned as a heretic and convicted of torturing and murdering scores of local children. Shrouded in mystery and dark legend, Gilles has survived the centuries as the historical basis for the figure of Bluebeard.In the spare, spellbinding language of fable, Tournier reimagines the attraction between the ghoulish Gilles and the saintly Jeanne. Historians wonder how Jeanne, so lucid, so intelligent, was able to put up with this man who was a monster, he has said. My answer is that she made him a monster. Writing between the lines of the existing historical texts, he engages Gilles and Jeanne in a dialectic of good and evil, positing her martyrdom as the psychological - and perhaps theological - cause of his depravity. In Tourniers hands, the two figures become poles of a stark moral landscape as Gilles, with Jeannes cries from the stake ringing in his ears, turns his life into a diabolical mirror image of hers.This compelling novel confirms Tourniers status as a writer and thinker of extraordinary power.