Viviane Janouin-Benanti

Held captive 25 years

Version française

A criminal case without precedent

The uncredible true story of Blanche Monnier.

At the end of May 1901, journalists of all the areas of France surged to Poitiers. Following an anonymous denunciation, one came to discover a 52-year-old woman, skeletal, entirely naked, pushing inarticulate cries, in a room with padlocked shutters, inside the private mansion of the widow of the former Faculty of Arts dean.

She was the daughter of the mansion mistress, the sister of a former sub-prefect who lived opposite. An unthinkable case – a woman confined illegally twenty-five years during – had just broken out. It was going to capture the public opinion interest until the trial.

This novel is also the story of a man and a woman whom all separated. One was protestant, the other catholic; one was republican, the other royalist; one comes from a noble family, the other comes from the bar and a great difference in age did not arrange anything with their relation.

In this France of the 19th century which hesitated between the royalty and the republic, these two attaching beings loved in spite of all: it is what led to the drama.

To go deeper in the understanding of this case, the author consulted all the newspapers published at the time, all the reports of audience and the declarations of the various witnesses…

One century later, the reminiscences of these cleavages are always present when one evokes this case in the Poitiers town area.