Urbain Grandier by Alexandre Dumas

Urbain Grandier

By Alexandre Dumas

  • Release Date: 1952-01-01
  • Genre: Biographies et mémoires
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Description

Grandier served as priest in the church of Sainte Croix in Loudun, in the Diocese of Poitiers. Ignoring his vow of celibacy, he is known to have had sexual relationships with a number of women and to have acquired a reputation as a philanderer. He also wrote a book attacking the doctrine of clerical celibacy. In 1632, a group of nuns from the local Ursuline convent accused him of having bewitched them, sending the demon Asmodai, among others, to commit evil and impudent acts with them. Modern commentators on the case, such as the author Aldous Huxley, have argued that the accusations began after Grandier refused to become the spiritual director of the convent, unaware that the Mother Superior, Sister Jeanne of the Angels, had become obsessed with him, having seen him from afar and heard of his sexual exploits. According to Huxley, Sister Jeanne, enraged by his rejection, instead invited Canon Mignon, an enemy of Grandier, to become the director. Jeanne then accused Grandier of using black magic to seduce her. The other nuns gradually began to make similar accusations. Grandier was arrested, interrogated and tried by an ecclesiastical tribunal, which acquitted him.

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