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The first notable literary advocate of the Satanist, alchemist and child-killer Gilles de Rais remains J-K Huysmans, famous for his novel A Rebours and its quintessential decadent, Des Esseintes. Huysmans later novel La-Bas (1891), a virtual apology for Satanism, is threaded by a version of the de Rais story as narrated by the books protagonist, Durtal. Punctuated by the authors own poetic interventions, this account depicts de Rais as an arch-decadent beset by demonic visions and ravening sexual manias the 15th century Des Esseintes. A most intriguing sequel to this examination of evil is now provided by the first ever English translation of Huysmans pamphlet SORCERY?IN?POITOU (La Sorcellerie En Poitou, also known as La Magie En Poitou), published in 1897 in a limited edition for private circulation only. Described by Huysmans as a reductionist, non-fiction version of La-Bas, it demonstrates the ongoing fascination exerted by de Rais over the author. This special ebook edition of SORCERY?IN?POITOU also includes Instrumentum Diaboli, Huysmans notorious essay on the Satanic artist Felicien Rops, whose work The Sacrifice is featured on the front cover.

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