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In April 1628 Huguette Roy lay bedridden and near death. Her husband, Antoine Roger, so feared for her life and the life of their unborn child that he had masses sung and hired doctors and midwives, all of which they could ill afford. One morning, after Antoine had gone to work patrolling their city's walls, a beautiful and radiant young woman, dressed in white, visited Huguette. This vision gently moved Huguette to the hearth, straightened the large room that was Huguette and Antoine's home, changed Huguette's linens, swept the floors, and even removed the spiders from the corners. She then disappeared. The next day Huguette spoke to her closest friend, Jeanne Massey, and asked Jeanne to thank her benefactrice. Much to their horror, they discovered that there was no such woman. Even more frightening was that this vision continued to appear, to do domestic chores, and to talk to Huguette, although no one else could see it. Soon the spiritual and secular authorities became involved. The local Franciscans and J esuits were brought in to test the spirit; the town council sent a delegation to observe the proceedings and to try to quiet the rumors spreading throughout the city where Huguette lived, Dole, and neighboring villages. [1] Despite having such a prestigious audience and facing repeated cross-examination, the ghost refused to name itself or state its purpose, although it performed every task that was set before it and did nothing harmful. Finally, on the thirtieth day of its appearance, the spirit revealed that it had once been called Leonarde Colin. Based on this information, Huguette immediately assumed the apparition was her mother and, in a heart-rending speech, promised to do everything in her power to aid it. Later Huguette reconsidered her decision when a woman from the countryside told her that Leonarde Colin had been the name of Huguette's aunt, information that Leonarde would soon confirm. From this point on, Huguette and the spirit, the niece and the aunt, would generally cooperate. As a result, Leo narde ascended into Heaven as a bride of Christ while Huguette apparently resumed her quiet life. [2]

Although ghosts such as Leonarde were unusual apparitions, seventeenth-century Dole and the region of which it was the capital, the Franche-Comte, were sites for many supernatural and preternatural occurrences, at least according to their residents. Werewolves were seen to be lurking in neighboring woods, mysterious ladies held nocturnal hunts, and demons guarded treasure troves buried in local caves. [3] Of such figures, witches were perceived to be the most common, and both the Parlement, based in Dole, and the Inquisition regularly heard cases involving suspected sorcerers, wise women, and malefactors. The year of Huguette's haunting, 1628, also marked the beginning of four years of famine and plague as well as on-going prosecutions of witches, werewolves, and visionaries such as Huguette. In addition, the leading ecclesiastical official of the region, the archbishop of Basancon, had only recently begun the promulgation and enforcement of the Tridentine decrees, and Leonarde's appearance can be read as a response to such activities and the development of a distinct confessional identity in the Franche-Comte, where Huguette lived. Regional politics contributed to the tensions; the secular and spiritual authorities were well aware of the dangers they faced given the proximity of the border with France and the aggressive foreign policies of the French kings. Such fears contributed to their insistence on common recognition of their social and political status and their wary approach to Huguette and her vision. These concerns would prove to be valid only eight years later, in 1636, when Louis XIII's armies invaded the county.

Despite these circumstances and fears, Huguette's haunting apparently had a particular and positive appeal for many of Dole's residents. Not only do secular and ecclesiastical archives from that era repeatedly note the attention people paid to the event, but the production of a 179-page Histoire only two months after the visitation ended confirms its local significance. This document provides the bulk of extant information about and contemporary interpretations of this story and offers both explicit and implicit commentary on various aspects of life in seventeenth-century Dole. Although Huguette and Leonarde's story can be approached from many angles, this article will explore one thread which runs throughout the haunting: the development and role of networks of female sociability. [4]

As is well known, these networks permeated early modern society, providing support during crucial events such as childbirth and marriage, endangering transgressors as occurred in witchcraft accusations, and binding women of various social levels through shared assumptions about the nature of womanhood. [5] Such sociability and its interrelationships could even transcend death, as seen in the ties between women, female saints, and the Virgin Mary, prayers to aid dead relatives, or heavenly intercession by ancestors. Underlying such relationships were assumptions about a woman's nature and gender attributes and affinities. Among the most powerful of these ideas in both the philosophical canon and popular discourse was that linking the female and the physical. Women's physical and visible conformity to appropriate sexual and social categories enhanced one of their most valuable commodities--their reputation--and regulated their relationships with various authorities: the local government, the clergy, and the co mmunity. [6] For Huguette and Leonarde, then, the physical might be expected to permeate their story given that it was about two women, but their circumstances complicated the common equations. How can female networks be understood when one of the women involved was a ghost, a being that by its very nature is nonphysical but must act in this case on a physical plane? How can such an entity be classified or even partly comprehended when the usual ways of perceiving and analyzing are based on apparently inapplicable concepts of physicality and sexuality? More importantly for many early modern people, how such a figure be controlled, integrated or eliminated from society?

To put it perhaps too directly, the answers to these questions were based on ignoring or discounting Leonarde's ghostly nature. Despite the unusual circumstances of Huguette and Leonarde's case, networks of female sociability much like those between two living women were seen as mediating the relations between these two figures, even though one was long dead. Moreover, their female, familial bond led to a relationship that was surprisingly egalitarian when compared with the more hierarchical connections that frequently governed associations between heaven and earth. When the spirit revealed that it was Huguette's aunt while it was alive, these bonds were only enhanced, and a new depth was added to their relations. Perceptions about living women and their sociability, albeit applied to a ghost, affected an even broader sphere. Huguette, her neighbors, and urban authorities examined the spirit and gauged its veracity based on a series of assumptions about living women and corporeal womanhood. This situation co uld be both subversive and supportive. Despite the tensions that these familial and female networks caused for Huguette, they also apparently eased the acceptance of this vision and provided her with a foundation from which she could challenge those figures who doubted Leonarde and, by implication, herself. [7] The case of Huguette and Leonarde, then, affirms that gender was seen as transcendental and that patterns of female sociability were believed to be universal by individuals of various social and educational levels and of both sexes. As such, the equal application of these standards to ghosts and nursing mothers was only to be expected.

From the beginning of Leonarde's visits to Huguette, the bonds and responsibilities common among early modem women molded their relationship, despite the fact that Leonarde was herself a spiritual being. Leonarde always appeared to Huguette as a young woman and assumed the supportive role of a close, female neighbor; she cleaned the house, helped cure the ailing Huguette, and cared for Huguette's son, Claude, who was born shortly after her first visit. In fact, the danger to Claude and Huguette's life triggered Leonarde's visitations, so it can be argued that Leonarde was instrumental in saving both of them, becoming metaphorically their midwife and guardian. In one case, Leonarde even proved a more vigilant caregiver than Huguette, when she uncovered Claude at night after Huguette had swaddled him too tightly. When Huguette awoke, Leonarde explained her actions and advised Huguette that this mistake caused the death of her two previous children. Huguette apparently accepted this statement, as she might advi ce from a respected matron, and the manuscript notes that she swaddled Claude more loosely from then on. [8] At no time did Huguette doubt Leonarde's knowledge or ability purely because she was a spirit; this trust is even more surprising given that, during this episode, Huguette did not yet know who Leonarde was or had been.

One ostensible reason for Leonarde's almost maternal care of Huguette and baby Claude throughout her visitation became clear only approximately halfway through it when she revealed that she was Huguette's aunt. As such, Leonarde's involvement with her family in particularly female ways would be expected to transcend death, as had been developed in the doctrines and teachings on the intercessory system. But this bond between an aunt and a niece also placed obligations on Huguette. Although Leonarde had worked outside Dole as a maid and lady's companion, the child Huguette had inherited Leonarde's worldly possessions when Leonarde died. Leonarde even suggested that these goods provided the basis for Huguette's dowry, and thus Huguette owed her current marital and social status in part to Leonarde. Because of this bequest and because Huguette was Leonarde's closest, living, female relative, Leonarde saw Huguette as the natural figure to complete Leonarde's vows to go on pilgrimage. Huguette accepted this logic as she accepted Leonarde's treatment of Claude and statement about her identity.

Huguette's actions and attitudes were not as far-fetched as they might appear. Even before Leonarde revealed that she was Huguette's aunt, Huguette's initial assumption that the spirit must be a young, local woman was a reasonable one. Not only did Leonarde manifest in that form, but she performed the tasks that a living woman would do to aid a sick neighbor. At no time did Leonarde threaten the family, perform her chores poorly, or curse those who examined her. Instead of thus appearing as a "lying spirit," to use Huguette's phrase, Leonarde's deeds and behavior made her a model matron. These activities reflect more than just secular gendering, however; they echo the gendering applied to conceptions of sanctity. Recent studies have shown that the essence of female holiness was believed to be charity, the externalization of divine love. [9] Not only did Leonarde perform the tasks a living, physical woman should, she did those which reflected the correct female, spiritual vocation both on earth and in heaven.

The manuscript's language reinforces the logic of Huguette's assumptions and the role of gender in them. The text itself is explicit about the gender of those participating in the events it described; when neighbors are mentioned, they are almost exclusively put in the feminine form rather than the more generic masculine one (voisines rather than voisins). [10] In addition, the impression of Leonarde as gendered, and gendered female, based on her appearance to Huguette is echoed in the language used to describe her. While the gender of the spirit was visually explicit throughout "The History," where it first and repeatedly appeared as a young woman, linguistically its gender was mare ambiguous. Before Leonarde revealed her name, she was most commonly referred to as l'esprit (spirit) which had a masculine gender. Afterwards esprit was interchanged with ame, or soul, which was feminine. In addition, from this paint, when Leonarde was mentioned without an obviaus noun as reference, Leonarde was gendered "she." Apparently once its name was given, the spirit's femininity was enhanced, which may be a reflection of the value given to naming in early modern Europe, where names were seen as endowing a person with the characteristics of those who had previously held that name, such as saints or ancestors. Whatever the justification for this method, it serves to situate Leonarde, despite her differences, firmly within the community of other women and suggests that she was subject to the same rules, tests, and possibly censures.

This broader community of women was present from the beginning of the haunting. The initial response of Huguette and her neighbors was situated within this specifically female community and highlighted the importance of neighborhood female sociability. Throughout this story, these neighborhood women were portrayed as helping other women during pregnancy, sharing their chores, and caring for sick neighbors. During Huguette's illness, they apparently performed such tasks as they could to keep her household functioning. One woman, Jeanne Massey, was particularly close to Huguette. Jeanne braved the terrors which the invisible spirit must have inspired--only Huguette could ever see Leonarde--and prayed for ten days on her knees next to Huguette's bedside. Jeanne served as Huguette's intermediary with the other women in the neighborhood when Huguette was ill and, by implication, once Huguette was too disturbed by Leonarde's arrival to leave home. She was even sewing alongside Huguette in the final, climactic scen e. [11] The reciprocity and exchanges underlying these networks were emphasized throughout the haunting. Huguette was also concerned to fulfill her obligations within the female community and to thank her benefactrice properly despite her illness. This sense of responsibility led directly to the revelation that she had been visited by a spirit rather than a neighbor:

And as she [Huguette] began picturing in her imagination all of her neighbor women and the women of her acquaintance, not finding any at all who resembled this [woman], she says to one of her neighbors who comes to visit her, "Jeanne, my good friend, do you have any idea who this woman is who came here in the early morning and made my bed and put me back in it, as you see! I was so surprised or, should I say, so badly brought up, that at her departure I didn't give her anything for the great courteousness which she showed toward me.... " "I'll inquire about it," says the neighbor, which she does right away and does not find any neighbor girl or woman in the whole neighborhood who did this service for the sick woman.... 'What?" responds the sick woman, "Could this be a spirit, then? Jesus!" she says while crossing herself with the sign of the cross, "Jesus, Mary, may God be my protector! Could a spirit from the other world have indeed made my bed? Could it have led me to the fire? And there was no need t o say more about it to let all her neighbor women know, and little by little the whole city [as well], that a spirit had visited a woman in the Rue d'Arans. [12]

Although women were stereotypically presented as gossips and the manuscript appeals to such beliefs, these neighboring women would be more than just the local rumor mill and foils to Huguette's story. They were active participants in analyzing the spirit, and the tests they set were ones designed to elicit a response from it--as a woman, not as a spirit. In these roles they accepted and reinforced both neighborhood networks and assumptions about female nature, particularly its attachment to the corporeal and the worldly. Huguette first turned to these same women, instead of her husband or spiritual advisors, for advice on how to rid herself of the ghost. Rather than urge her to beg for heavenly intercession or to wield a blessed object, such as a rosary, against it, they recommended a more worldly solution and one that they intended to appeal to the ghost's female nature and attendant physical interests. In order to banish the spirit, her neighbors advocated that Huguette strew her residence with garbage. No t only would this action negate the care that the spirit had previously taken and show it that its services were not welcome, but the filth itself would actually repel the spirit. [13] The implication was that the spirit [Leonarde] would react like a living, human woman should when it entered a stinking, squalid home; it would hold its nose and run away!

As this episode suggests, Huguette's haunting never alienated her from the Dole community and her female networks. Rather, it expanded them both spiritually and secularly. When Leonarde first gave her name, Huguette assumed that Leonarde Cohn must be her mother, although her reasoning was unclear. This judgment spread quickly throughout Dole and the neighboring villages, again through the offices of a neighbor woman who came to comfort the distraught Huguette. Learning about Huguette's visitor through the rumor mill, "a virtuous woman, the widow Maniet" traveled to Huguette to offer a second, more plausible identity for the spirit: it was Huguette's aunt and the widow's companion, Leonarde Colin. [14] Maniet was clearly of a higher social status and an older generation than Huguette; she referred to Huguette as "my daughter" and described Leonarde as "useful." A sense of noblesse oblige and curiosity apparently drove her to visit Huguette, and at no time did Maniet exhibit any fear of the spirit or distrust of Huguette. [15] Other prestigious members of the region's female society also maintained an active interest in Huguette's visitor and affirmed Leonarde's sanctity. The wife of one of the county's most renowned lawyers, Jean Boyvin, and her mother came to watch what could be seen in the cross-examination of Huguette and Leonarde, and Boyvin states that they were only part of a crowd. [16] In addition, Boyvin would apparently come to believe in Huguette and Leonarde, although he noted the difficulties in finding any substantive proof; he satisfied himself by noting their conformity to appropriate social standards and religious behavior. Like the widow Maniet, all accepted that hauntings could occur and believed that bonds between women could transcend death; Huguette's case was fascinating, not frightening. Elder and elite women had the responsibility to observe and advise, to act as calm guides and as guardians, even if such standards might be seen as more ideal than real. Unfortunately it is impossible to t ell from surviving documentation if Huguette's notoriety would lead to continued relations with such women once the haunting ended.

Like her advisors, Huguette also assumed that these terrestrial female bonds would transcend the temporal condition, that they could and would continue to apply to a dead woman. When attempting to ascertain why Leonarde had come to her, Huguetre specifically asked why Leonarde did not appear to another woman, Catherine Fremiot, to whom, Huguette felt, Leonarde was more closely related; it is, unfortunately, impossible to verify Huguette's statement. In this scene Huguetre never seemed to doubt that Leonarde might want or need to visit another female relative; instead, her concern was over the degree of relationship. Moreover, Huguetre never questioned that Leonarde should appear to another woman, although too much should not be made of this omission given that is it impossible to ascertain if Huguette and/or Leonarde had any male, blood relatives alive when the haunting occurred. Huguette also took for granted that Leonarde would know the fate of women of Huguette's acquaintance when she asked Leonarde to te ll her if she had seen another woman in purgatory or knew if that woman enjoyed heavenly bliss given her great piety. The acceptability of this assumption was evident, because such requests did not disconcert Leonarde. She informed Huguette that the woman's piety had been rewarded with her ascension to Heaven, although Leonarde quickly changed the subject. [17] The implication was that, while such questions were perfectly appropriate, they were secondary to Leonarde's immediate purpose.

In the early modern Franche-Comte such assumptions about female community--its existence, bonds, and values--could also be found in more official works. Among the most relevant to Huguette's case because of its emphasis on the supernatural and its influence on Dole's judges and administrators was the Discours des sorciers by Henri Boguet. Boguet was a native of the Franche-Comte, born around the middle of the sixteenth century. Trained as a lawyer, he would be appointed Chief-Justice of the St-Claude district in late 1587 by Ferdinand de Rye, archbishop of Besancon. In this capacity he was in charge of conducting the many trials in that region against those suspected of heresy, and it has been argued that his enthusiasm for this task contributed to the "outbreak" of witchcraft during his tenure in office. His most famous work, Discours des sorciers, apparently grew out of his experiences as a judge and his demonological studies. Although the exact date of its first edition is unclear, it was published several times in the l590s and reprinted repeatedly throughout the early seventeenth century. Members of Dole's university and Parlement praised his learning, as did the rector of Besancon's Jesuit college; these same institutions would supply most of the observers and interrogators in Huguette's case. The step-by-step exposition of trial methods that ended the Discours became standard parlementary and inquisitorial procedure in the region when faced with such cases, and Boguet's treatise on Burgundian law, whose publication would s hortly follow, reflected similar judicial principles and received similar praise.

Throughout the Discours Boguet argued that women could and often did form a distinct community, and, in so doing, he echoed many of the common misogynistic themes of his era. Boguet's witches, and those who were most receptive to their spells, were quarrelsome, vengeful, flighty, and ignorant. Poor, weak, and often lonely, they were susceptible to the Devil's promises, although Boguet believed that such circumstances could never excuse their guilt. As such, Boguet's descriptions typify the depictions of accused and convicted women found throughout demonological literature, but there is another important theme which is often slighted in interpretations of both these works and Boguet's Discours. Although men are accused of witchcraft and suspicious beliefs, most of the women given as case studies in the Discours are described as functioning within a community that is almost exclusively made up of other women, many of whom were from the same town as Huguette or nearby villages. When Francoise Secretain strikes, she paralyzes Loyse Maillat; when Clauda Gaillard turns into a wolf, she attacks Jeanne Perrin. [18] Women were shown as living within groups that were dominated by other women and that had their own social logic, even though many of the women whom Boguet named were married or had living male relatives and had some employment outside of the immediate household. The community of women thus depicted could be both dangerous and empowering. Because of this combination, Boguet thanked God that women were weak because "if as many of them [witches] were men as there were women, and if they had a great Lord as their leader, they would be strong enough to make war upon a King." [19]

According to Boguet, the constraints women's physicality put on them and the powers it gave them were the primary means by which the female, and demonic, communities were defined. Women's obsessions with worldly goods and corporeal pleasures bound them to each other and provided ready vectors through which the witchcraft "plague" could spread. These female networks and tendencies also left women open to demonic corruption. Because "women love carnal pleasures," the Devil could easily bind women to him sexually; through the same means men could be ensnared by a demon in a woman's form, although men were less susceptible. [20] In this argument as in many others, Boguet made physicality and materiality key ingredients in the female community and in woman's nature more generally. In the case of Francoise Secretain, which Boguet analyzed throughout the Discours, Francoise attacked Loyse Maillat by giving Loyse seizures, and Francoise exhibited her guilt because of her downcast eyes and shuffling gait; Loyse's inj uries were obvious because, when she testified, she had the appearance and demeanor of a thirty- to forty-year-old woman instead of the eight-year-old that she was. These physical signs attested to Francoise's spiritual corruption. In the same way physical tests were the basis for judgment in the trial procedures that Boguet developed; in particular, Articles 35-42 listed "indications" that an accused should be tortured such as the repulsiveness of a face, the inability to cry, and the frequency of cursing. [21] Such "indications" were pursued in Huguette's haunting as well. Leonarde had to demonstrate repeatedly her good intentions and innate goodness through physical, performative demonstrations, rather than through doctrinal expositions. The incongruities of making a spirit, which had a physical appearance but not a body in the same sense as a terrestrial being, provide demonstrations of physical prowess and earthly affinities were apparently easier to disregard than the idea of examining any figure, much less one purporting to have been or to be a woman, without applying physical, corporeal standards.

Such tests occurred throughout the Histoire and generally involved placing Leonarde in proximity to a holy object; although an apparition would be subject to such trials irregardless of its gender, the frequency with which they were repeated and the persistence of the examiners' disbelief suggests that Huguette and Leonarde's gender contributed to their skepticism. The first examination to which Leonarde had to submit was the ability to hold a blessed sash, an act which her questioners assumed would burn a demon. She not only held it, but placed it under the sleeping baby Claude without disturbing him. At various times she was told to make the sign of the cross using black or white chalk; if she chose black she would be considered a demon. She was given relics of Ignatius Loyola to venerate, and she was ordered to contort her arms so that they formed a cross. In one of the more memorable scenes Huguette's religious advisers held a ciborium over Leonarde's head, and she was required to lower herself continual ly so that her head never rose above the eucharist within it. (The impression is of a ghost doing the limbo.) [22] All of these tests were physical and performative. All of them left signs which everyone could see, even if the performer, Leonarde, was invisible. Many were impossible for Huguette to do by herself, such as the engraving of a cross in rock-hard Brazil wood or the levitation of crosses and relics by invisible means. [23] As the story continued, these demonstrations tried even Leonarde's patience, and she eventually refused any additional tests. In censuring the clerics who demanded these activities, Leonarde argued that their stress on the physical displeased God whose interest was in the spiritual. By focusing purely on her physical manifestations and performance of holy signs and good works, they ignored what should be analyzed: her spiritual state. Moreover, according to Leonarde, through these methods the clerics revealed their corrupt understanding. They placed the physical manifestations, w hich they assumed would be paramount for a woman, above the spiritual which God had decreed to be primary for all Christians, male and female.

These same criticisms were implied in Leonarde's response to the first cross-examination to which she was subjected. It, too, concerned her physical state, with the implication that the body's status was especially important for determining a woman's sanctity, even if that woman was no longer corporeal as it was commonly understood. On the thirty-ninth day of Leonarde's visitation, a veritable delegation awaited her in Huguette's room: Huguette herself, Huguette's confessor, various residents of the neighborhood, and several Jesuits. Although Leonarde would not talk to anyone but Huguette, the Jesuits questioned her through Huguette.

It is asked, "Are you a pure spirit?"

"Yes I am," it says. "Do not doubt this."

Huguette: "Are you a completely spiritual substance?"

The spirit: "I don't understand the question that's being asked me."

"Are you a spirit who gave shape to a body in another time?"

"I'm a spirit who once gave life and movement to a body."

Huguette: "Where is this body?"

The spirit: "It's dispersed."

Huguette: "I'm asking where it was buried."

The spirit: "It was buried in the cemetery of the reverend Father Franciscans."

Huguette: "In what spot?"

The spirit: "Near the cross."

Huguette: "On which side?"

The spirit: "On the side of the altar of Our Lady of the Angels."

Huguette: "A long time ago?"

The spirit: "Around seventeen years ago less three months."

"And this body which you have now, is it the one that you had while you were alive on earth?"

The spirit: "No, because it's dispersed and reduced to ashes, as I have already said."

Huguette: "What matter is it made of then, and where did you get it?"

The spirit: "I get it as God gives it to me when I come here. I am so comforted and pleased to be clad in it in order not to feel the fire of Purgatory during this time that I pay no attention to the matter from which it is made!" [24]

Out of the myriad of possible subjects about which Leonarde and, by inference, Huguette could be questioned, the initial one had to do with Leonarde's physical incarnation during these visits and the disposition of her terrestrial body. Leonarde's relative disinterest in her corporeal state could be linked to her proximity to the beatific vision, where such considerations would become insignificant. Her approach, however, undermined obliquely the authority of those questioning her. Through their emphasis on her physicality, their obsession with imposing secular standards on an event and being which should primarily be perceived and appreciated as spiritual, the male Jesuits looked petty and preoccupied with the material compared to the broad-minded and otherworldly "woman," Leonarde.

The questions posed by the Jesuits in the passage quoted above reflected longstanding debates in Christianity over the relationship between the physical and the spiritual, body and soul, passion and reason. These relationships were also gendered. In early Christianity some of the most influential heretical movements, such as the Gnostics and Manicheans, were those that denied the physical nature of Christ. The roots of these beliefs are quite complicated and are most frequently attributed to the integration of Hellenistic philosophy into Christianity. Neoplatonism in particular developed a hierarchical concept of humanity in which reason and spirit were engaged in a constant struggle to direct and control the lowly body and the passions. As part of the processes involved in establishing orthodoxy, early Christian theologians in the West developed a doctrinal basis for the integration of physical and spiritual in both the Christian and in Christ. The themes developed by these Church Fathers, particularly thos e of Augustine, would be molded by Peter Lombard and Thomas Aquinas in the Middle Ages and integrated more explicitly with Aristotelian philosophy as transmitted by the Arabs in the thirteenth century. [25] Building on scholastic debates and responding to Protestant challenges, Catholic theologians by the seventeenth century had developed an uneasy reconciliation between body and soul that common beliefs and practices apparently echoed; this theology guided Huguette's questioners and frequently found support in Huguette and Leonarde's responses. They generally agreed that the body was necessary; the self was not just a soul using a body. In fact, if the body was properly disciplined it, too, could become a means to approach God as it carried within it a reflection of the original perfection of the Garden of Eden. Yet the body was unstable, always oozing fluids, shedding pieces, and demanding care. Thus, by its very nature, the body provided openings for corruption to enter a human being.

Many theological disputes stemmed from this tense, and at times paradoxical, conception of the body-soul relationship. In particular, the Jesuits' two preoccupations in the above quote-the disposition of Leonarde's worldly remains and the form and substance of Leonarde's incarnation-had been debated by theologians since the first century of Christianity. The disagreements arose for many reasons, including the contradictory interpretations that could be given to the two key Scriptural passages on this topic, 1st & 2nd Corinthians. The debates which sprang from them addressed fundamental theological and ontological questions: which of the many bodies that a human experiences during his or her physical lifetime will be that which he or she assumes in heaven; why is it even desirable to retain the body; and given that the cycling of matter is fundamental to the continuation of this world, how will a person's original body return to him or her uncorrupted by the processes the flesh has undergone, such as illness, violence, and putrefaction? [26] In a recent study on bodily resurrection in the Middle Ages, Caroline Walker Bynum concludes "that a concern for material and structural continuity showed remarkable persistence even where it seemed almost to require philosophical incoherence, theological equivocation, or aesthetic offensiveness." [27] The same statement could be made for seventeenth-century Catholic Europe, including Huguette's Dole. For these reasons, then, the fact that this dialog was the first that is reported in "exact" detail should not be surprising; the state of Leonarde's body--its clarity, purity and beauty, the way it coped with the purgatorial fires, and the extent of its ability to function in this world--were all means of ascertaining Leonarde and Huguette's orthodoxy. Given the variety of doctrines regarding the body and physicality, however, the continuing dissatisfaction of Dole's religious authorities could almost be expected despite the appropriateness of Leonarde's response.

If the relationship between body and soul was in general complex and ambivalent, it was more so when the being discussed was female. By the seventeenth century Christian thought had essentially disregarded the version of Genesis where God created both man and woman at the same time (Genesis 1:27 and 5:2) in favor of Eve, the original woman, being created from Adam's rib (Genesis 2:21-25), thus stressing woman's dependent and subordinate relationship to man. Again focusing on the Adam and Eve story, most thinkers blamed Eve for original sin, for tempting Adam to eat of the tree of knowledge. [28] Reinforcing these beliefs was the Aristotelian theory of woman as an incomplete and improperly formed man; the vital heat necessary to form a male child in the womb had been insufficient and, thus, a female was born. Ancient Galenic expositions of the body's humoral composition, and attendant physical fluctuations, further complicated a woman's position. According to common medical theory bodies were made up of four humors which corresponded to the four elements and the four qualities. [29] An elaborate psycho-physical system had been developed where women were believed to be predominantly wet and cold, thereby more likely to leak fluids and to transform their shape, conclusions which childbirth and menstruation seemed to support. This physical instability was seen as a sign of women's inferiority to the apparently more solid, less porous male.

These scriptural and medical theories also led to the assumption, by men and women alike, that women were more unstable spiritually and intellectually than men. Adam was content in Eden; Eve was the one whose passions--her curiosity and pride--were stirred and thereby caused the Fall. The moon, also cold and wet, was seen as controlling women physically and psychologically; the state of mind which the moon enhanced, lunacy, was gendered female, and the characteristics which the lunatic exhibited were exaggerations of perceptions about women. Thus, medically, the fluidity of women's bodies was directly connected to mental fluidity and imbalance. While women theoretically had the same spiritual capacity as men, it was perceived to be more corruptible, and their visions were less likely to be "true" ones. With this background and these suspicions, the Jesuits approached the unknown spirit and its female mediator. Like other members of the Dole community, they assumed that the spirit would exhibit physical chara cteristics and these would allow it to be tested on the corporeal plane, but that these terrestrial signs would have otherworldly significance.

Such tests had special significance in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in the Franche-Comte because of the fears of demonic and witch activities. In addition to those techniques already discussed, Leonarde and Huguette's examiners applied standards that they had developed to distinguish demons from saints and witches from women. These norms were primarily physical and frequently gendered female in keeping with the belief that women were especially susceptible to the Devil's snares. [30] During Leonarde's visitation two questions lurked in the minds of many observers: could this be merely a case of a disturbed young woman seeking attention and sanctification through a false vision, or could this apparition actually be a product of demonic influence? Huguette was told to examine Leonarde's hands or feet "because a demon would not be able to appear for long in the guise of a human without mixing into it the appearance of some wild clawed, beaked, tailed, or horned beast or to make itself known by s ome hissing of serpents, lowing of bulls, barking of dogs, roaring of lions, and other similar cries and howls by which it makes itself known for what it is." [31] Huguette also checked Leonarde's breath and noted whatever smells accompanied her visits. Noxious odors and beings that combined two distinct species were seen as corrupt or even "unnatural," thereby linking the apparition with that most unnatural of all Creations, Satan. The corruption and fluidity of demonic manifestations segued into the fluidity of women. The more perfect a form was the more it could and should retain its appearance, its nature. Woman's porousness, as witnessed in childbirth, and their fluid nature, seen in menstruation and lactation, left her more open to influences which could corrupt her spirit and signaled her lesser, weaker nature. The equation with demonic nature was not done purely through inference. Demons themselves were frequently depicted as having female sex organs, such as breasts and a vagina, and as observing pat riarchal conventions when dealing with Satan. Leonarde, however, passed multiple examinations even when Huguette stole a glimpse under her skirts.

Leonarde's appearance, as reported by Huguette, went further and reinforced common perceptions about the link between physicality and sanctity, especially as applied to women. The face was seen as a reflection of the soul; according to Aquinas, those who saw the beatific vision would radiate the divine light that was God. [32] This interpretation was manifested popularly in the belief that any soul who might be blessed would have a fair physical appearance, and throughout Leonarde's visitation her graceful movements, grave countenance, soft speech, and appropriate actions were remarked as a means of gauging her intentions. In this sense Leonarde exhibited before her ascension the qualities of the risen body--claritas, agilitas, subtilitas, and impasssibilitas--which were enhanced at the end of her visitation. For Huguette, however, Leonarde's beatific appearance raised as many questions as it answered. One of the areas that inspired Huguette's greatest concern was that Leonarde returned to earth so fair of a ppearance and speech, while, when alive, she was a sharp-tongued, misshapen, old harridan. Huguette and, by inference, at least some of those advising her maintained a highly secular perception of physicality and femininity that they applied to Leonarde. Although they eventually supported Leonarde's justifications, they expected her to be as recognizable in death as she was in life, retaining the warts, scars, and mannerisms that distinguished her from all other beings. Although it was popularly believed that the risen body would be purified and beatified, at the same time their responses suggest that Huguette and those with her could not imagine that a person's terrestrial form and worldly manner could be modified, although those involved would probably challenge that statement if it was put to them.

Through the connections Huguette made when questioning Leonarde about her physical appearance, Huguetre also implied that the physical and spiritual were interrelated. Moreover, the qualities she looked for in a benign spirit fit those of an idealized holy woman. Immediately after challenging Leonarde about the transformation in what had been a wrinkled, hunch-backed body, Huguette posed the following question:

"Permit me," replied Huguette, "to ask you one more thing and tell me if it's true as those who knew you and saw you more familiarly say that you had a ferocious way of speaking, abrupt and unassured, when you let yourself be controlled by your natural inclination? And now you are so gentle, so friendly, that often when I lost my temper and talking with you [I called you] a liar, [I called] you a devil from hell to your face, you were not at all troubled or altered the slightest bit; rather you answered me like an angel from heaven. That's what astonishes me." [33]

A familiar body and soul made a true and, therefore, trustworthy spirit. While Leonarde no longer conformed to the appearance and manner she had while alive, she did match common assumptions about the appropriate physical nature and demeanor of a female spirit. As such, these attitudes and orthodoxy were reinforced, which made Huguette's position more tenable.

The model for this idealized woman was the Virgin Mary, and Leonarde's appearance can also be seen as a variation of the visitations by the Virgin Mary that were reported all over early modern Catholic Europe. Marian themes can be found throughout this entire story. The first one occurred when Leonarde initially became visible to Huguette as a young woman with a white dress and rosy cheeks. According to reports from as far afield as Spain and the Americas, the Virgin Mary frequently appeared as a young woman dressed in white, an appearance which Leonarde mirrored. [34] The Virgin Mary was also Leonarde's special patron; the pilgrimages that Leonarde promised and that Huguette needed to fulfill were to Marian shrines in support of specifically Marian devotions. That Leonarde came to earth to help a young, suffering mother may have been perceived as mirroring the empathy Mary had for those who suffered, particularly as mothers. Huguette's spiritual directors, both Franciscan and Jesuit, also emphasized the cul t of the Virgin Mary in their devotions. The veneration of the Virgin had been long a part of Franciscan practice, and the Jesuits would be one of the most fervent supporters of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

In the region where Huguette lived, Marian devotion was also widespread and provided a model for female behavior and piety. As early as the tenth century, pilgrimages were undertaken to pray before the wooden statue of the Virgin at the Benedictine monastery of Mont-Roland, about two miles north of Huguette's home. Despite the Virgin's apparent abandonment of their town during a siege in 1479 which leveled the city, Dole's residents continued to place their only parish under her patronage. One of the more powerful regional cults in the early seventeenth century was that of Our Lady of Montaigu. Based on reports of the Virgin having appeared seated in an oak tree to a shepherd at Montaigu in Flanders, there was a stampede for pieces of the tree which were carved into statues of the Virgin. On pilgrimage Huguette was granted a recurrance of this vision--a sure sign that she was right to believe Leonarde--and during her rapture lost all track of time, a common motif in visionary literature. [35] Finally, at the end of the Histoire, Leonarde was received into Heaven as a bride of Christ and acknowledged as such by the Virgin herself. Through this integration of Marian themes and imagery, Huguette and Leonarde were both physically and spiritually linked to the ultimate woman, Mary, the mother of Christ. Physicality and performance again became cornerstones on which a female community was based, albeit one which linked heaven and earth.

If her actions can serve as proof, Huguette apparently accepted the legitimacy of the Jesuits's tests and models, even if she was not versed in their theological and classical foundations, but Huguette's perception of womanhood and her relationship with Leonarde depended as much on more tangible and familial relationships. In this sense, the Marian model continued to apply to Leonarde. The good works Leonarde performed early in her visits to Huguette and that she would continue to do, albeit more inconsistently, laid one foundation for trust on bases for female bonding with which Huguette was familiar. Kinship would further reinforce their ties, much as they were ideally believed to do between living women. When Leonarde first revealed her name, Huguette went into paroxysms of remorse that she had not done more to ease the passage of her presumed mother. Even this outcry focused on the physical suffering which Leonarde had presumably endured:

Oh, my good mother, are you plunged into the fire of Purgatory? Is it really possible that for these last seven years you have been boiling in these flames? If only you had told me thirty days ago that you were my mother and that you boil in this fire, I would have had privileged masses said earlier by all the convents and religious houses of this city! I would have applied indulgences; I would have said so many rosaries in honor of this blessed Virgin that she would have had compassion for you! Jesus, Mary, my poor mother! Seven years! Seven years and more in the fire of Purgatory, so burning, so penetrating! Ah, if you had told me, I would have melted into tears from crying and would have begged my God to pour them on this flame in order to put them out or at least to give you some small refreshment! [36]

Once Leonarde's true identity was discovered, Huguette continued to regret her neglect of familial duties. Leonarde apparently expected this response and capitalized on it, noting that Huguette was morally obliged to aid her as her nearest female relative and heir.

As described up to this point, Dole's female community appears purely warm and supportive, but, as a whole, the dynamic was more complex and the relationships less settled. Even the remorseful Huguette needed repeated prodding by Leonarde to motivate her to leave on pilgrimage. As members of the same family, it would probably appear unnatural to early modern eyes if they always agreed. Moreover, as a relation, Leonarde felt able to intervene in areas which could become flash-points in familial relations. One of those areas was Huguette's relationship with her husband, Antoine. During one night while Leonarde was cleaning, she moved Antoine's sword. Her action provoked a domestic crisis. The next morning Antoine stormed from their home, flustered and complaining. Quickly gossip spread around the neighborhood that "the spirit" had been caught brandishing the sword. When Leonarde came for her daily visit, Huguette complained; Leonarde constantly disturbed her home and disquieted her husband, who was unhappy abo ut Leonarde's visitations. Leonarde became defensive and portrayed her action as a response to Antoine's laziness, as a reminder that he needed to take greater care of his young family; leaving a naked sword on the floor in a house with an infant could, after all, be hazardous! Leonarde continued by accusing Antoine of reneging on an earlier agreement to work harder instead of drinking with his cronies. Despite these justifications, Huguette continued to chastise Leonarde and even threatened to banish her from the house. Eventually Leonarde promised to avoid such actions in the future. [37] In this episode, Huguette clearly accepts her husband's right to determine what should occur in his home. Even a spirit on the verge of ascension like Leonarde should recognize Antoine's inherent masculine right to order his household. In return, however, Antoine was expected to honor his familial and gender obligations: to behave "reasonably" and to support his family appropriately. His violation of that code enabled Leon arde to argue with Huguette in this case. Her admonitions were apparently ineffective; as Leonarde ascended into heaven, Antoine was in the process of hosting a dinner party.

At other times, Huguette spat at Leonarde and threatened to tell the city and region that she was actually a "lying spirit." Despite Leonarde's assistance in caring for baby Claude, an assistance that Huguette believed saved the infant's life, she condemned Leonarde for rocking his cradle too forcefully even when he was out of the crib. As in the episode above, Leonarde challenged Huguette's statement and implied that Huguette was a poor mother because the child should have remained in the cradle more often than it did. Yet, despite this condemnation, Leonarde eventually backed down. These events reflect a female sociability between woman and spirit that resembled closely behaviors between living women. In the areas of domestic relations and childcare, Leonarde was not privileged and accepted her eventual submission to the mistress of the household despite her elder status. It can even be argued that Leonarde's fits of housekeeping were permitted, once Huguette became well, because they fell within Huguette' s standards of acceptability and because they reflected the delegation of household chores. Moreover, in their arguments Huguette and Leonarde used the methods and patterns of female sociability and violence that have been reported in other studies of early modern trial records. This research has found that women were less likely to attack each other physically than men were; instead, they undermined another woman's reputation. In these cases, Huguette apparently expected her threat to have the same effect on Leonarde as it might have on a living woman, and she was right: Leonarde accepted Huguette's authority when continued challenge could have caused irreparable damage to Leonarde's reputation.

This interest in reflecting reality may explain one of the more disturbing episodes in the haunting, recounted at the end by Leonarde herself. The integration of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors exhibited makes the scene plausible and, perhaps, provides an opportunity to hear the individual voice of a female character in as unmediated a fashion as possible. While Huguette and her friends were on pilgrimage they stayed at a town approximately twenty miles north of them called Gray. Their host, Jean Georget, was a prosperous artisan and treated Huguette well, giving her his best bed and relegating himself to a smaller, less comfortable one. After Georget settled in for the night, Leonarde raised the bed. Georget demanded to know who was lifting it, and, just as he was about to panic, Leonarde lowered it. This scene was repeated three times before Georget threw himself off the bed and scurried from the room, not to return that night. When Huguette asked Leonarde why she behaved this way to a generous host, Leonarde's response was vague. Although willing to accept responsibility, all Leonarde offered was that she wanted to let Georget know that a spirit was present. [38]

This episode appears as an almost afterthought in the account and raises many questions. It especially challenges any reading of the haunting, and its main text, which makes them purely pedagogical constructs. It was stated explicitly that this story was unknown until Leonarde revealed it while she was ascending to heaven, and no surviving records cast this statement into doubt. Leonarde's actions and justification were unlike any others during the haunting. Even when she moved swords, levitated rosaries, or engraved crosses on rock-hard wood, she did so with a purpose and was quite willing to reveal it, at least to Huguette. When Leonarde terrorized master Georget, she showed an almost childlike glee and smugness; she did it because she could, not because she should. This episode possibly reflected seventeenth-century misogynism, if not in its origins at least in the author's and actors' acceptance of the scene. Of course, Leonarde would act arbitrarily and pettishly; she was a woman. It also appealed to e arly modem sensibilities regarding the spiritual realm by supporting the common idea that its inhabitants could have unexpectedly different rules. Yet it also reinforced earlier textual statements about Leonarde's personality while alive. As described by several characters, Leonarde was volatile, intemperate, and determined. She acted in ways that were clearly counterproductive and could supply little justification for these behaviors. Given this characterization, is it not possible that, through her behavior at master Georget's home, Leonarde herself confirmed these earlier impressions and that an aspect of the "real" Leonarde's character was revealed? If that was the case, it would provide a "real" case of the volatility of relationships involving women and of the physical ways such volatility could manifest. Leonarde then could represent the inconsistencies of every woman and every female construct. Paradoxically, this erratic nature also made Leonarde less of a threat. Leonarde's conformity to terrestrial , female standards, on one hand, made her more acceptable; on the other hand, her stress on their unimportance obliquely challenged these very authorities who so privileged these norms and their underlying ideology. By once acting in a manner both atypical and typical, Leonarde confirmed their assumptions about female nature and situated herself and Huguette in this less threatening role. Because it was there but because it was rare, this episode actually empowered both women, the terrestrial and the spiritual.

The bonds of female sociability and the spiritual imperative that they reinforced in this visitation also strengthened Huguette's position and enabled her to succeed in the one episode where she explicitly defied her husband, Antoine. After over a month of appearances, Leonarde convinced Huguette's confessor and many of the local Franciscans and Jesuits that she was a soul, not a demon. Huguette should therefore go on pilgrimages to fulfill vows that Leonarde made before her death and, thereby, to permit her ascension into heavenly glory. At the beginning of Huguette's final trip, which would take less than a day, Antoine and several of his friends attempted to stop her from leaving town. They argued that Leonarde was a demon, despite the ecclesiastical verdict, and would welcome the chance to throw Huguetre off the bridge that she had to cross to leave Dole. Suddenly Huguette, accompanied by Leonarde, seemed to float across the bridge and, when she reached the far side, publicly belittled Antoine for his la ck of faith. [39] According to Huguette, in the household, in his role as husband and father, Antoine was the master, but he should not overstep those bounds. Secular governors, ecclesiastical authorities, and the will of God, as embodied in Leonarde, placed a higher duty on Huguette. Antoine's refusal to recognize their priority made him laughable. Yet this laughter was not subversive. Both men and women accompanied Huguette and Leonarde on the pilgrimage, and the men went ahead of the women. Moreover, this pilgrimage explicitly did not follow a Chaucerian model. All those who walked to this local shrine sang litanies of the Virgin Mary and revered the image of her that they found there. The female sociability which Huguette, Leonarde, and their company represented may be presented as superior to the misguided cronyism of Antoine and his pals, but it maintained the status of other, male-dominated institutions whose members behaved in an appropriate manner. It also empowered those who accepted its worldly req uirements and limitations and projected them onto a supernatural plane.

The final scene of Huguette's story also showed common manifestations of female sociability and further empowered Huguette by placing her in the role of mediator between the earthly and the heavenly. On the fifty-second day of Leonarde's visitation, Antoine and five or six of his friends were eating a meal on one side of their sitting room. Huguette, baby Claude, and Jeanne Massey were sitting across the room next to the fire. The implication was that they were working on some project, a likely way for a woman in early modern Europe to spend her evenings. Although Huguette was too ill initially to take in work, by the end she was cured and could pursue this activity which women of her social and financial status often did to make ends meet and often performed in the company of other women. Suddenly Leonarde reappeared before Huguette, but it was a Leonarde transformed. Now her whiteness was blinding; whereas Huguette could earlier perceive her as pure and shining, by this stage Leonarde had moved beyond huma n perceptions. Huguette's terror of a being she frequently quarreled with and spat at confirms this impression, as does the lack of any physical description other than that provided by Leonarde herself. Leonarde had moved beyond female, corporeal means of judgment. [40] Yet she had not moved beyond her female and familial obligations. Although Huguette recoiled in terror, she also immediately began praying for Leonarde to intercede for a large number of relatives and friends. Although Huguette bemoaned her unworthiness to make such a request, following rhetorical conventions of the era, she continued with her enumeration. In this final episode their interactions remained that between women, but rather than the relative equality of their previous relationship, they now related more as lady and servant. Despite this change, Leonarde did not lose her sense of familial obligation. Not only did she willingly vow to aid everyone that Huguette mentioned, she noted that she did so through both divine love and a sense of obligation. She promised to act as Huguette's "ceaseless advocate" because of the favors Huguette had done her and because she was Huguette's aunt. While the bond between them may seem almost contractual, it was just as much female, familial, and performative.

The folklore of early modern Dole abounded with stories about mysterious women in white. Lurking in the river Loue, about ten miles south-east of Dole, was Mother Lusine, half-woman, half-serpent, who wore a diamond broach and could become an aerial spirit assuming the form of a flaming snake. Many places, particularly ruins, were seen as harboring white ladies; while one about ten miles north of Dole was known for her fantastic hunt through the clouds above the forest, another preferred to dance until the early morning in the woods. [41] In this sense Leonarde's appearance appealed to common, folkloric interpretations of the supernatural. Unlike these figures, Leonarde could be integrated into local society through her connections with female social networks. Her activities and attitudes, her presence and her physicality all reflected, to some extent, early modern perceptions of what was appropriate for a woman despite the fact that she was no longer a corporeal being. By being a spirit which could be broug ht to earth, Leonarde's visitation was successful: she became a bride of Christ, Huguette was not prosecuted, and gender values and perceptions were reinforced.

Abstract: Kathryn A. Edwards "Female Sociability, Physicality, and Authority in an Early Modern Haunting"

When a nameless spirit visited Huguette Roy during the spring of 1628, Huguette became a local sensation. Neighborhood women, Franciscan preachers, and Jesuit intellectuals all tried to identify and control the apparition, who remained invisible to everyone save Huguette. She saw a helpful, if ethereal, young woman, and the spirit's gender was only confirmed when it explained that it was Huguette's aunt, Leonarde. As both a female vision and an aunt, Leonarde became manageable and understandable. All of those associated with the haunting--believers and doubters alike--assumed that standards and attributes of womanhood, as defined in the seventeenth-century Franche-Comte, would be applicable to the spirit, in particular woman's innate physicality. Leonarde confirmed and conformed to these beliefs. Moreover, she, Huguette, and their supporters manipulated these standards to enhance their legitimacy. In the process all of the participants abandoned any sense of paradox that physical standards were being applied to an entity who was by nature non-physical or, at least, whose physicality did not conform to worldly, corporeal standards. Womanhood, in whatever form, became a universal category with physicality as its primary component.


(1.) While there are many regional studies about the early modern Franche-Comte of which Dole was the capital, few are synthetic; the classic work remains Lucien Febvre, Philippe II et la Franche-Comte (Paris, 1911). Among those mote modern, general works useful for Dole are Kathryn A. Edwards, Interior Frontiers: Family and Communal Recreation in the Early Modern Burgundies (Baltimore, forthcoming); Roland Fietier ed., Histoire de la Franche-Comte (Toulouse, 1978); Maurice Gresset, Dole de 1479 a 1636 (DES, Besancon 1949); Jacky Theurot et al., Histoire de Dole (Roanne, 1982). The authoritative work on the Inquisition in the Franche Comte is J. Tissot, Notice sur l'etablissement et les statuts de l'Iinquisition en Franche Comte (Besancon: 1865-66); for a modern reappraisal in a more specific context, William Monter, Witchcraft in France and Switzerland: The Borderlands during the Reformation (Ithaca, 1976).

(2.) The main text for Huguette's story can be found in the Bibliotheque municipale de Dole, ms. 121: The History of the Appearance of a Spirit which happened in Dole, 1628, ed. and trans. by Kathryn A. Edwards and Susie Speakman Sutch (forthcoming). It was written by an observer of the haunting, Christophe Mercier of Dole, and recopied later that century by another cleric. Not a fictional account, the chronology, the characters, and even certain responses can be confirmed through other archival sources. It is, however, an ambivalent record. In documents with such a provenance it is tempting to regard the story as purely that of the male author(s), but its format and language make "purely" a problematic concept at best. Mercier identifies closely with Huguette and her visitor. He ostensibly was present for most events and what he did not hear Huguette repeated for him soon after it occurred, but neither situation accounts for the quick production of this manuscript, less than two months after the haunting end s. Mercier apparently becomes obsessed with this event and grows so involved that, at times, he is unable to separate himself, as author and authority, from Huguette and her ghost. He frequently refers to the spirit as "our spirit;" he moves from third person to first person narrative without any transitional marker, which imparts to the document an almost impressionistic feel. While it is possible that this work is a purely pedagogical creation by a seventeenth-century cleric who will gain a regional reputation for his holiness, such an assumption begs the question of why use such a vehicle to communicate his message. Moreover, it ignores the minute details of women's life, work, and perspectives described in this document, details which could be difficult for a man, outside of female networks, to know. For an intelligent and concise discussion of the difficulties and possibilities for reading women's voices in such mediated manuscripts, see the introductions by Albert Rabil, Margaret King, and Anne Jacobson Schutte in Cecelia Ferrazzi, Autobiography of an Aspiring Saint, transcribed, translated, and edited by Anne Jacobson Schutte (Chicago, 1996), ix-xxvii and 3-18.

(3.) Daniel Bienmiller and Michel Millet, "Univers folklorique et sorcellerie a Dole aux XVIe et XVIIe siecles," Cahiers dolois 1 (1977).

(4.) I am currently preparing a book manuscript exploring the ramifications of this event: Visitations: The Haunting of an Early Modern Town.

(5.) While the literature on this topic is vast, the following works have guided the interpretations found in this article: Susan Dwyer Amussen, An Ordered Society: Gender and Class in Early Modern England (New York, 1988); Patricia Crawford, Women and Religion in England, 1500-1720 (New York, 1993); Jacques Gelis, A History of Childbirth: Fertility, Pregnancy, and Birth in Early Modern Europe, trans. Rosemary Morris (Boston, 1991); P.J.P. Goldberg, Women, Work, and Life Cycle in a Medieval Economy (New York, 1992); Martha Howell, Women, Production and Patriarchy in Late Medieval Cities (Chicago, 1988); Lyndal Roper, Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Religion, and Sexuality in Early Modem Europe (New York, 1994); Shulamith Shahar, The Fourth Estate, trans. Chaya Calai (New York:, 1983); Merry E. Wiesner, Women and Gender in Early Modem Europe (New York, 1995) and Working Women of Renaissance Germany (New Brunswick, NJ, 1986).

(6.) Roper, Oedipus and the Devil, esp. chpts. 1 and 2; Robin Briggs, Witches and Neighbors: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft (New York, 1996), 265-71.

(7.) Female visionaries often found themselves in a precarious position both with other women and with secular and ecclesiastical authorities. For examples of this situation and its potential consequences, see Gillian T.W. Ahlgren, Teresa of Avila and the Politics of Sanctity (Ithaca, 1996); William A. Christian, Jr., Local Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Princeton, 1980) and Apparitions in Medieval and Renaissance Spain (Princeton, 1981); Richard L. Kagan, Lucrecia's Dreams: Politics and Prophecy in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Berkeley, 1990); Eva Labouvie, Verbotene Kunste (St. Ingbert: 1992) and Zauberei und Hexenwerk (Frankfurt am Main: 1991); Phyllis Mack, Visionary Women: Ecstatic Prophecy in Seventeenth-Century England (Berkeley, 1992), esp. chpt. 2; Alfred Soman, Sorcellerie et justice criminelle (16e-18e siecles) (Brookfield, VT, 1992).

(8.) The History, chpt. 2.

(9.) Andre Vauchez, Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, trans. Jean Birrel (New York, 1997), 369-86.

(10.) For examples, see The History, chpts. 1,2,7, 14, and 15.

(11.) Ibid, chpt. 8.

(12.) Ibid, chpt. 1.

(13.) Ibid., chpt. 2.

(14.) Like many figures in the Histoire, the "widow Maniet" is impossible to identify with any precision from sources outside of the manuscript itself. Many of the names given were quite common, the registers of birth, death, and marriage only irregularly kept for this era, and other surviving documents rare for the artisans, day laborers, villagers, and soldiers that make up the bulk of the individuals named in the text.

(15.) The History, chpt. 6

(16.) Bibliothdque municipale de Besancon, Collection Chifflet, ms. 103.

(17.) The History, chpts. 7 and 10.

(18.) Henri Boguer, An Examen of Witches, ed. and trans. by Montague Summers (London, 1929; New York, 1971), 1-3 and 137-38. See Roper, Oedipus and the Devil, and Briggs, Witches and Neighbors, for further development of these themes.

(19.) Ibid., xxxi.

(20.) Boguet, 29-30.

(21.) Boguet, 223-25.

(22.) The History, chpt. 13.

(23.) The Brazil wood episode and Mercier's analysis of it can be found in Ibid., chpt. 7.

(24.) Ibid., chpt. 9. The dialog given here follows the format found in the manuscript; note that when Huguette was speaking, she was actually relaying the Jesuits' questions.

(25.) The best recent analysis of this process can be found in Carolyn Walker Bynum, The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200-1336 (New York, 1995).

(26.) These questions are developed in great detail in Peter Lombard's Sentences, book 4, distinctions 43-50.

(27.) Bynum, Resurrection, 11. For Augustine, "the flesh was not simply the body; it was all that led the self to prefer its own will to that of God.... Concupiscence was a dark drive to control, to appropriate, and to turn to one's private ends, all the good things that had been created by God to be accepted with gratitude and shared with others.": Peter Brown, The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New York, 1988), 418.

(28.) One of the strongest proponents of woman's corruptive nature was the second-century polemicist Tertullian whose writings were frequently cited in early modern Europe: "You [women] are the Devil's gateway. You are the first deserter of the divine law ... You destroyed so easily God's image, man. On account of your desert, that is death, event he Son of God had to die." (Tertullian, De culture feminarum, 1, as quoted by Wiesner, Women and Gender, 12). The ideal woman was one who denied her sexuality and, thus, according to the fourth-century theologian St. Jerome, became man. For Christian perspectives from early modern Europe which opposed this characterization, see Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, Declamation on the Nobility and Preeminence of the Female Sex (1529) ed & trans. Albert Rabil, Jr. (Chicago, 1996) and Christine de Pisan, The Book of the City of Ladies (1405), trans. Earl Jeffrey Richards (New York: 1982).

(29.) For a clear and intelligent discussion of this theory and the challenges to it in early modern Europe, see Laurence Brockliss and Colin Jones, The Medical World of Early Modern France (Oxford, 1997), 85-165.

(30.) Huguette's examiners apparently included leading clerics and judges, both of which probably had detailed theological or judicial training. Dole had its own university, and most of the city's oligarchs had some university legal education. Moreover, Dole's Jesuits ran the local secondary school and were successful enough that the town's university felt threatened. Dole's parlement was the final court of appeal for all accusations of witchcraft in the county of Burgundy, and a series of outbreaks marked the seventeenth century, including one beginning in 1628. For more information, see Monter, Witchcraft in France and Switzerland, chpt. 3. The historian Francois Bavoux collected much of this regional folklore but died before he could publish most of it. His notes are in the Archives departementales du Doubs, 10F. 10F56-65 are particularly useful for beliefs about spirits; 10F42, 54, and 69 cover werewolf cases specifically. Bavoux described the most famous werewolf case in the county in "Loups-Garous de Fr anche-Comte: identification du refuge et observations sur le cas de Gilles Garnier," La nouvelle revue franc-comtois 1 (1954).

(31.) The History, chpt. 5.

(32.) I Cor., chap. 15, lectio 9, in Thomas Aquinas, Opera omnia, ed. Umberto Busa (Stuttgart: 1980).

(33.) The History, chpt. 10.

(34.) Christian, Apparitions, 41-49, 54, and 154.

(35.) The History, chpt. 14.

(36.) Ibid., chpt. 6.

(37.) Ibid., chpt. 4.

(38.) Ibid., chpt. 14.

(39.) Ibid., chpt. 15.

(40.) Ibid., chpt. 16.

(41.) Bienmiller and Millet, "Univers folklorique."
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Author:Edwards, Kathryn A.
Publication:Journal of Social History
Date:Mar 22, 2000

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