22 Feb: The Mistress and the Witch

Sorcerer and fortune-teller Catherine “La Voisin” Monvoisin was sentenced to death on 22nd February, 1680. She had supplied poisons and potions to clients including Madame de Montespan, official mistress to King Louis XIV.

Monvoisin’s punishment was the climax of the witchcraft hysteria that rocked the Parisian court, triggered by the confessions of Madame de Brinvilliers, who’d been executed for conspiring to poison her father. The scandal became known as ‘The Affair of the Poisons’.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how a ‘black mass’ actually worked; ponder how it was such a seemingly small jump from chiromancy to murder in Voisin’s backstreet clinics; and consider what La Voisin’s career would look like if she was around these days… 

Further Reading:

• ‘La Voisin and the Scandalous Affair of the Poisons’ (SciHi, 2019): http://scihi.org/affair-poisons-voisin/

• ‘The Bizarre Life Of The Murderous French Fortuneteller La Voisin’ (Grunge, 2020): https://www.grunge.com/246131/the-bizarre-life-of-the-murderous-french-fortuneteller-la-voisin/

• ‘The Terror of History: The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe’ (UCLA, 2007):

#1600s #Witchcraft #France #Macabre