The Real-Life “Last Duel” — The Assault of Marguerite de Carrouges
CW: Discussion of sexual assault and “The Last Duel” spoilers. Weird to put those both here in a CW, but I don’t want anyone to complain that I ruined the movie for them and I don’t want anyone triggered by the content. So both are in bold at the top.
When I describe the assault itself, I will have a warning so anyone can skip it if they still choose to read the article.
It’s been awhile! I’m still on hiatus, so my articles won’t come out as frequently. But I am moving into my new apartment on June 17th. After that, I should fall into a better routine.
I’m not going to focus on the “final duel” in this, but I’m going to focus on Marguerite and the events leading up to it so if you want to know all of the bloody details, I’m certain Google will help you out.
I saw the movie and found myself more curious about Marguerite and what she had to really go through. The movie is surprisingly accurate, and even though it shows the rape scene itself TWICE, it’s actually a pretty good movie in my opinion. Women were involved in the production and writing of the movie. (Consider that a content warning if you’re planning on seeing the movie. It’s shown twice.)
The 1386 trial is surprisingly well-recorded for a 1386 trial thanks to chronicler Jean Froissart and the French Register of Parliament. Which makes this case an incredible historical resource on medieval France immediately following the Black Death. We even have records from the rapist’s lawyer. (I’ll get to his actual name in a second, but let’s not forget what he is first)
Seeing all the talk of lawyers and trials made me realize this would be a great case to cover for Crime Travel. I was getting bored of Victorian/Edwardian Era cases. Originally, my next article was on a Regency-era murderer but I couldn’t stop groaning out of boredom.
When I found out about this case, I started the article almost immediately because not only is it a medieval case, I know French and was able to read the primary docs mostly untranslated. Plus, even though I publish mostly Victorian-era cases, my passion is in ancient and medieval history.