Sara BeamAug 14, 2023
Trial of Jeanne Catherine
Infanticide in Early Modern Geneva
University of Toronto Press 2020
In 1686 in Geneva, a single mother named Jeanne Catherine Thomasset is charged with poisoning two young children: her own illegitimate daughter and the son of a rural wet nurse. So begins a harrowing criminal trial during which authorities interrogate Jeanne Catherine several times, sometimes with torture, to determine the truth.
Sara Beam's The Trial of Jeanne Catherine: Infanticide in Early Modern Geneva (University of Toronto Press, 2021) is a suspenseful historical mystery that offers students the opportunity to learn about motherhood, child rearing, gender, religion, local politics, and the practice of criminal justice in early modern Europe. This edition provides the complete trial transcript as well as the deliberations of the Genevan authorities and relevant correspondence.
Jana Byars is an independent scholar located in Amsterdam.