A Tale of Two Murders: Passion and Power in by James R. Farr

By James R. Farr

As scandalous as any modern day big name homicide trial, the “Giroux affair” used to be a maelstrom of intrigue, encompassing daggers, poison, adultery, archenemies, servants, royalty, and criminal lawsuits that reached the head of seventeenth-century French society. In 1638 Philippe Giroux, a pass judgement on within the maximum royal courtroom of Burgundy, allegedly murdered his both robust cousin, Pierre Baillet, and Baillet’s valet, Philibert Neugot. The murders have been all of the extra stunning simply because they have been surrounded by means of accusations (particularly that Giroux were sporting on a passionate affair with Baillet’s wife), conspiracy theories (including allegations that Giroux attempted to poison his mother-in-law), and unexplained deaths (Giroux’s spouse and her health professional died less than suspicious circumstances). The trial lasted from 1639 till 1643 and got here to contain a number of the such a lot distinctive and influential males in France, between them the prince of Condé, Henri II Bourbon; the top minister, Cardinal Richelieu; and King Louis XIII.

James R. Farr finds the Giroux affair not just as a riveting homicide secret but additionally as an illuminating element of access into the dynamics of energy, justice, and legislation in seventeenth-century France. Drawing at the voluminous trial documents, Farr makes use of Giroux’s adventure within the courtroom approach to track the mechanisms of power—both the formal strength vested by means of legislations in judicial officers and the casual strength exerted by way of the the Aristocracy via patron-client relationships. He doesn't take a place on Giroux’s guilt or innocence. as an alternative, he permits readers to attract their very own conclusions approximately who did what to whom on that ill-fated night in 1638.

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