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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Europe / Medieval
  • Language:English
  • Pages:278
  • eBook ISBN:9781940773087
  • Paperback ISBN:9781940773070


Brave Warrior, Brutal Psychopath

by Valerie Ogden

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A fabulously wealthy 15th-century French aristocrat, A Marshal of France, a celebrated war hero, a true Renaissance man, and an overt homosexual turned into a mass murderer. Gilles de Rais became known as "Bluebeard" with his ghastly dabbling in the Black Arts, extreme depravity, shocking fall from grace, and explosive end reading like a blockbuster movie.
Enshrouded within the annals of French history, a tale of unimaginable horror and perversion emerges. It is the story of Gilles de Rais, an aristocratic warrior revered as one of France's wealthiest and most respected men, and known as a close companion to none other than Joan of Arc herself on the battlefield. Yet, beyond the chivalrous façade, he devolved into a monstrous serial killer, acquiring the macabre moniker of Bluebeard. His horrifyingly extensive record of bizarre sexual rituals, ghastly mutilations, and the cold-blooded murder of hundreds of children stands in stark contrast to his celebrated military career. This chilling transformation begs the question - how could such a fall from grace occur? How could a figure as eminent as Baron Gilles de Rais, a Marshal of France, a luminous intellectual, and a paragon of the high medieval prince whose talents and accomplishments echoed those of the Renaissance, descend into such extreme depravity? The explanations remain elusive and mired in speculation. However, historical evidence strongly suggests that de Rais, like many a returning soldier, bore the invisible wounds of severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It's conceivable that the psychological aftermath of war might have ignited his latent psychopathy, pulling him into a vortex of violence and insanity. His journey from celebrated hero to infamous monster is a chilling testament to the cruel and corrosive power of war. It adds credence to the notion that warfare's inhumanity has the potential to radically alter even the most heroic of individuals, transforming them beyond recognition. The tale of Gilles de Rais's descent into madness serves as a disconcerting reminder of the darkness lurking within the human psyche, ready to surface under the right (or wrong) circumstances.
About the author
Valerie Ogden accidentally found out about Bluebeard when her nephew married his descendant, and the family hushed all her sudden questions. Absorbed by his story, she decided to research his life with an extensive visit to the Bibliotheque de Nantes in Brittany, France, the site of many of his massacres. She is an American actor and former editor at "House & Garden." She has also served as a district committeeperson, Chair of the Mayor's Animal Advisory Committee for the City of Philadelphia, and President of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.