‘She transformed into a werewolf, devouring and killing two children’
Trials of she-werewolves in early modern French Burgundy
in She-wolf
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This chapter provides an analysis of the early modern Burgundian werewolf trials. It focuses on contemporaneous ecclesiastical and political circumstance to explain the relative frequency with which female werewolves were accused and tried in this particular area of France. The brutal killing of Perrenette Gandillon as a supposed she-werewolf is indicative of the atmosphere in the mountains of Franche-Comté, a territory in Burgundy, France. The werewolf panics and the comparatively large numbers of werewolf trials in Franche-Comté represent a relatively unique phenomenon in Europe, with the exception of Latvia and Estonia. The werewolf trials began in 1521, with the death sentences for heresy pronounced by the Inquisition courts, and ended in 1663 with acquittals before secular courts. The concept of the werewolf nevertheless remained particularly alive in the inaccessible regions of the Jura, where several cases of alleged lycanthropy came before the courts.


A cultural history of female werewolves

Editor: Hannah Priest


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