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The Mysterious Deaths of History: Investigation and revelation (Autopsie des morts célèbres)

Author: ,


Original Language: French | 272 pp. | February 2019

2 Seas represents: Dutch, Nordic and English (US & Canada) rights


What do Chopin, Adolph Hitler and Saint Louis have in common? All of them were scrutinized by Dr. Charlier, the medical examiner who is looking for answers within the bones of renowned deceased. His goal: to know more about the circumstances of their deaths.

MRI scanner, carbon-14 dating, palynology, scanning electron microscope, toxicological studies, the new techniques used in forensic medicine allow us to discover the death circumstances of our famous historical figures.

This doctor in paleopathology, who identified Henry IV’s mummified head, delights in diving in the bowels of History, literally and figuratively. For several years now, he has been using forensic anthropology and new technologies in order to solve centuries-old mysteries, fascinating historical cold cases which he could finally elucidate: the authentications of Hitler’s jaw, Chopin’s heart in Warsaw, Descartes’ scull, and Lucy’s remains.

Dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the graveyards”, Philippe Charlier and his discoveries often arouse controversy. Always attracting media attention, he writes about historical figures’ autopsies. Zombies (translated in Spanish and English) and When Science Sheds Light on History are amongst his books.