Bluebeard: The Life and Crimes of Gilles de Rais

by Leonard Wolf

Hardcover, 1980




New York, N.Y. : C. N. Potter, 1980.

User reviews

LibraryThing member meggyweg
The story of the life and times of Gilles De Rais, a famous and obscenely wealthy French nobleman who achieved great honor as a warrior and fought alongside Joan of Arc...and was eventually put to death for kidnapping, raping, torturing and murdering scores of children, mainly the sons of local peasants.

Not all that much is known about this fifteenth-century figure (one of the earliest serial killers known to history), but Leonard Wolf does a respectable job fleshing out his life. He speculates some, but not too much, as to what made De Rais the way he was, and also includes the story of Joan of Arc. (In fact at times it seemed he wanted to write about her more than about De Rais.) A decent enough bio for those interested in historical serial killers.… (more)
LibraryThing member Loptsson
How to start. Gilles de Rais had everything, absolutely everything going for him. Money, land, title, friends in high places, and companion to Joan of Arc. The man was definitely torn between God and the Devil, which we all are to some degree or another. The crimes he committed are unpardonable and for the church to bury him on holy ground and not burn him to ash like his accomplices is beyond my comprehension. The author does a good job in bringing together evidence and doesn't expand the evidence to fit any preconcieved notion of his. He does touch on the nature of the crimes by writing what was given as his testimony. Anybody after listening to his confession to the judges would probably be aghast and have every reason to hate this man intensely even though by this time in the book it is anti-climatic. All I can say is at least justice was served although I think he should of suffered much as the children he tormented did. One thing that sticks in my mind after reading this book was, was he truly repentant as he appeared at the end or was it a facade? I guess one will never know.… (more)



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