Select Bibliography / Discography

Factual books

Gilles de Rais the authentic Bluebeard - Jean Benedetti

My favourite by a long way. Benedetti is not a historian but this concise biography is efficient and surprisingly sympathetic.

Le Procès de Gilles de Rais (The Trial of Gilles de Rais) - Georges Bataille

The translation of the trial records is invaluable, as is the chronology. The introductory essay is rather less so. Available both in French and in English.

Bluebeard: the Life & Crimes of Gilles de Rais - Leonard Wolf

Aspires to high literature, but this is merely a digest of other writers' work; the dedication "to the victims" nails Wolf's colours firmly to the mast. A disappointment.

Gilles de Rais the Banned Lecture - Aleister Crowley

The old rogue rants about this and that, touching on Gilles de Rais now and then. He pretends to know nothing of his subject but is disingenuous as ever. Entertaining.

Gilles de Rais ou la gueule de loup - Gilbert Prouteau

The book that caused the uproar, still available only in French.


Là-Bas (Down There) - J-K Huysmans

Nineteenth century novel by the author of the "breviary of the Decadence" A Rebours. The 15th century interludes are more absorbing than the contemporary satanism and many passages have become part of the mythology of Gilles de Rais

The Life & Death of My Lord Gilles de Rais - Robert Nye

Colourful and ambitious, but sadly this novel does not reach the heights of Nye's previous work. Some of the lengthy quotations from the trial are invented, which seems morally compromising.

The Dark Pageant - Edward Lucie-Smith

A jolly codpiece-ripper. In spite of needlessly inventing a narrator and countless offences against historical veracity this is a rare novel in that it has the courage to deal with the alleged murders directly.

Gilles & Jeanne - Michel Tournier

The subject seems ideally suited to Tournier's themes of opposites and benign inversion, but he had dealt with it tangentially in Le Roi des Aulnes (The Erl King), a far superior novel.


Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder - Cradle of Filth

Noisy metal with inaudible lyrics and interesting spoken passages by actor Doug Bradley in the character of Gilles de Rais. Amusing to guess which books Mr Dani Filth had been reading and not quite digesting... Huysmans features heavily, as one might expect.

Tombeau de Gilles de Rais - Edith Canat de Chizy, libretto by Enzo Cormann

Modern poetry more or less set to music. Claims to be ambivalent but there is very little ambiguity about Gilles's words from the gallows:-

La foule est venue voir périr

Un monstre

Mais c'est un saint

Que l'on pendra