The 12th century poet Marie de France remains a mystery to us but her writing had a strong and lasting influence on the development of medieval literature. Adapted from traditional Breton folktales, her tales or lais are a veritable treasure of European culture. This is her lai of the werewolf.
Born into an illustrious and wealthy family, accomplished knight and brother-in-arms to Joan of Arc, Gilles de Rais, was appointed Marshall of France at the age of just 25 but his meteoric rise was matched by a ghastly fall. He is best remembered today as probably one of the most depraved and prolific serial killers in history whose shrine was, for centuries, a site of pilgrimage for expectant mothers.
A brief overview of the wolf and werewolf superstitions in Brittany
Brittany is often described as a land of myths and legends; a place where the distinction between the natural and the supernatural did not really exist until the last century. Much has been written about the legends and old folktales of Brittany but how was this rich vein of folklore mined?
The Phantom Washerwomen of the Night stand out as one of the most striking and baleful characters in the rich folklore of Brittany; spectral women doomed to spend eternity labouring over their laundry from sunset to sunrise, terrifying unfortunate souls in the darkness.
A brief glimpse into some Christmas traditions from the Brittany of yesteryear.
One of the most commonly found creatures in the rich canon of Breton folklore are the korrigans; a race of capricious and contradictory magical dwarves.
A sketch of some traditional folklore from Brittany relating to death and the afterlife