The Devils of Loudun
In 1634 Urbain Grandier, a handsome and successful seducer of women and priest of the parish of Loudun, was tried, tortured and burnt at the stake. He had been found guilty of being in league with the devil and seducing an entire convent of nuns in what was the most sensational case of mass possession and sexual hysteria in history. Grandier maintained his innocence to the end and four years after his death the nuns were still being subjected to exorcisms to free them from their demonic bondage. Huxley's vivid account of this bizarre tale of religious and sexual obsession transforms our understanding of the medieval world.