When it came to the art of poisoning, Marquise de Brinvilliers had a rare talent.
She honed her craft by testing out mixtures on hospital patients. And then began her most ambitious project, murdering first her father, and then her two brothers. Her motive? The substantial family fortune. Her crimes shocked 17th century France, and triggered a nationwide panic about poisoners in the nobility.
Her story inspired works by numerous writers, including Robert Browning and Arthur Conan Doyle. In his version, Alexandre Dumas picks apart the Marquise’s case and trial, including her excruciating torture by ‘water cure’. Recommended for fans of grisly true crime.
Alexandre Dumas (1802 - 1870) was a hugely popular 19th century French writer. Born of mixed French and Haitian heritage, Dumas first rose to prominence in Paris as a playwright, but later gained international fame with his historical fiction.
Often co-authored with other writers, these stories wove together swashbuckling adventure, romance, and real events from France’s past. Among the best known are "The Three Musketeers", and its sequels "Twenty Years After", and "Le Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later". Set across four decades, this trilogy follows the rise of the dashing D’Artagnan—from hot-headed soldier to trusted captain under Louis XIV.
Dumas’ other novels include "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Black Tulip". His works have been adapted into more than 200 movies, including The Man in the Iron Mask starring Leonardo DiCaprio.