40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
A Lesser-Known, but Important Addition to the Huxley Cannon,
This review is from: The Devils of Loudun (Paperback)
This book received some attention when Ken Russel's movie came out in the early 70's. Before and since it's been pretty much neglected, which is a shame. In my estimation, Huxley is one of the foremost masters of prose writing in the English language. Those who are unfamiliar with his essays should seek them out. His was a mind that ranged far and probed deeply. The incidents portrayed in this book are indeed bizarre. It will remind some of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, in that a group of young women, in this case nuns, fall victim to mass hysteria. A local priest, Father Grandet, becomes the fall-guy and the true victim of a superstition-riddled Inquisition.
I'm sorry to see that this book is currently unavailable. It's really one of the most interesting historical accounts that I've ever read. Actually, Whiting's play, based on the same incident, is also excellent. I have mixed feelings about Russell's film. I thought Vanessa Redgrave was remarkable and Oliver Reed was very good, but Russell went too often over the top as is his wont.
If you can't find this book online, perhaps you will come across it in a used-bookstore or, if you are luckier than I am and have a well-stocked library, you can find it there. You shouldn't pass up the opportunity if you want to have a satisfying and unusual reading experience.