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The Amorous RestorationLove, Sex, and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century France$
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Andrew J. Counter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785996.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 July 2021

The Sexual Monster

The Sexual Monster

Celibacy and the Anticlerical Imagination

(p.174) 5 The Sexual Monster
The Amorous Restoration

Andrew J. Counter

Oxford University Press

In May 1822, a grisly crime was committed near Grenoble: twenty-six year-old Marie Charnalet was raped and murdered by Antoine Mingrat, a priest, who then absconded abroad. The ensuing cause célèbre became a watchword of oppositional sentiment in the years before the downfall of the regime in 1830. In the figure of Mingrat, anticlerical nightmares were made flesh: Mingrat was a real-life sexual monster, the distorted product of ‘natural’ manly appetited and perverted clerical celibacy. The chapter considers a number of pamphlets publicizing the crime, and official documents revealing the government’s determination to suppress such publicity as politically subversive. These opposing attitudes situate the Restoration as a crucial moment in the evolution of the notion of scandal: for the authorities, ‘scandal’ referred to actions which increased public knowledge of immorality, while for their liberal opponents, it already designated the expression of public outrage at the sins of the powerful.

Keywords:   Mingrat, rape, scandal, anticlericalism, Paul-Louis Courier, clerical celibacy

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