Massacre of the Innocents

Original title: Massacre des Innocents

Publication Date:

January 2018



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

Massacre of the Innocents

Original title: Massacre des Innocents

  • 2 Seas Represents: Dutch, Nordic, and North American Rights
  • Under option: Spain


In telling this story of human savagery, the novelist abandons narrative construction through chapters and puts in its place artwork directly inspired by masters of the Dutch Golden Age. – Biblioteca magazine

Marc Biancarelli has launched a powerful novel, full of rage and fury. In this stormy chaos, this enclosed and cursed eighth, historical figures come to life under this writer’s pen. – Corse Matin, Kaël Serreri

Massacre of the Innocents opens to a new somber page in maritime history and in universal savagery. – France Culture

Inspired by the true story of the shipwreck in 1629 of the Batavia, a Dutch ship bound for the colonial trading posts of the far East, Marc Biancarelli sets out to depict the biggest massacre of the 17th century: the murder of the survivors of the shipwreck, who were scattered across small, isolated islands off the coast of Australia. In telling the story of the mutiny, rebellion, trials and hangings, Marc Biancarelli uses this bloody episode not only to inject life and soul into men contaminated by evil who, in a vicious circle, corrupt all those around them, but also to explore the roots of evil itself. This novel blends a kind of reportage of events of yesteryear with an exploration of pictorial representations of the 17th century and the personal obsessions of an author whose oeuvre is devoted to plumbing the depths of the violence which underscores human history.