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The spectre of Gilles de Rais, satanist and child-killer, eclipses French history like a dark star. A fallen general, once the champion of Jeanne d'Arc, de Rais' riches and experimentations led him to the very gates of Hell.
The juxtaposition of de Rais' obscene crimes and insidious aristocratic glamour lodges him in our minds as some kind of medieaval Hannibal Lecter, and he is indeed believed to be the inspiration behind Perrault's classic fairytale of the serial wife-killer Bluebeard.
SATANICe ^ALCHEMY is a testament to the enduring legend of Gilles de Rais and his status in the popular imagination as history's first ever Devil-worshipping serial killer. With essays from some of the most fertile imaginations of recent centuries -- including J-K Huysmans, Georges Bataille and Valentine Penrose -- as well as a complete chronology and register of people and places in de Rais' brief but cataclysmic existence, this book is a rich evocation of the perversely seductive aura, the satanic allure of the most intriguing figure in the annals of mass murder.

Parts of this book previously appeared in Dark Star (Creation Books, 2005).