(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
"The Devils Of Loudun, a non-fiction book by Aldous Huxley, was first published in 1952. It is a historical account of demonic possession, superstition and religious fanaticism in seventeenth-century France, based on events which took place in the small town of Loudun in Poitou.
Urbain Grandier was a priest burned at the stake at Loudun, France on August 18, 1634. He was accused of seducing an entire convent of Ursuline nuns and of being in league with the devil. Grandier was probably too promiscuous and too insolent to his peers. He had antagonised the Mother Superior, Sister Jeanne of the Angels, when he rejected her offer to become the spiritual advisor to the convent. He faced an ecclesiastical tribunal and was acquitted. It was only after he had publicly spoken against Cardinal Richelieu that a new trial was ordered by the Cardinal. He was tortured, found guilty and executed by being burnt alive but never admitted guilt.
Playwright John Whiting adapted Huxley's book as the play The Devils (1960). Ken Russell directed a feature film adaptation The Devils (1971), starring Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed. Krzysztof Penderecki wrote an opera, The Devils of Loudun (Die Teufel von Loudun) in 1969."