Pete's Reviews > The Devils of Loudun

The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley
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's review
Feb 17, 2009

really liked it
Read in February, 2009

Got interested in reading this book after seeing Ken Russell's "The Devils" the other month. Fascinating account of the political machinations of the church at the time of Richlieu and how witch hunts and possessions could be used as tools to get rid of those that stood in the way of power grabs, how celibacy in religious callings led to neurosis, delusion and ultimately a failure to reach transcendence, how exorcism was seen as a public spectacle and how the egos of the "possessed" and the exorcists were displayed in their sordid performances.

Historically quite interesting in the views of early science, medicine and psychology and of the dominant philosophies of the day - Huxley does well in comparing the ethereal ideas of then with those of his contemporary world (fascism, communism, totalitarian concepts). Could have done with some editing as it does drag in places but certainly a lot to think about.
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