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Reading progress update: I've read 112 out of 380 pages.

L'énigme des Blancs-Manteaux - Jean-François Parot

(English text and images below.  Some images in spoiler tags -- trigger warning: substantial gross-out factor.)

 

Images en bas, quelques-uns marquées "spoiler" -- attention: risque de nausée considérable.

 

Thanatos: le titre du chapitre dit tout ce qui est nécessaire pour résumir le chapitre no. 5. -- En aillerurs, puisque Nicolas résiste à confirmer l'identité du mort trouvé avec l'aide de la vieille Émilie, probablement il vaut mieux ne pas encore fermer le dossier sur ce sujet-ci.  Pourtant, même si ce n'est pas l'un, sûrement ça veut dire que c'est l'autre ... et le propriétaire de ces vêtements, en aurait-il vraiment se débarassé volontiers?  Je le doute.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Thanatos: The title of chapter 5 says all that's necessary to sum up its contents. -- Since, incidentally, Nicolas refuses to confirm the identity of the dead person found with old Émilie's help, it's probably a good idea to keep an open mind on that.  But surely, if it's not one then it must be the other ... and would the owner of those clothes really have given them up voluntarily?  I doubt it.

 

 

Place de Grève and Quartier de l'Hôtel de Ville (late 18th century map and depiction from the 1750s, respectively).  The Place de Grève was later renamed Place de l'Hôtel de Ville (and still has that name today). -- For reference: Le Châtelet is just to the left of here.

 

 

Montfaucon, the actual location where the largely decomposed body was recovered. 

(For reference: The Place de Grève / today: Place de l'Hôtel de Ville is in the spot of the "Pa" of the word "Paris"; Le Châtelet was just beyond the second bridge to the left of there.)

 

 

Montfaucon had been the main gallows of Paris since the Middle Ages; in addition, in 1761, the year in which this book is set, the refuse dump already existing there was declared the city's main refuse dump.  Équarrisseurs (knackers' yards -- the places where horses were slaughtered and dismembered ... with every single atom of their bodies destined to be put to new use) are documented there in 1766; what with the area's general nature, it makes perfect sense for Parot to suppose their existence already in 1761.

 


"The Gibbet of Montfaucon"

(Sources and further information: here and here)

 

Montfaucon, cours des équarisseurs

(Source and further information)

 

(Given that those hanged at Montfaucon were denied a Christian burial and were dumped onto the refuse, the "soupe infâme en matière d'Arlequin ... des morceaux dérobés à Montfaucon" that Émilie sells gains an unspeakably vile meaning.)

 

Place de Grève: the execution of Damiens (described in detail, on the basis of actual historical sources, in the course of chapter 5). (Source: Wikipedia)

(show spoiler)