The Trompe-l'Oeil-Filled Castle

Original title: Le château des trompe-l’oeil

Publication Date:

August 2022



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French


Crime & Thrillers

The Trompe-l'Oeil-Filled Castle

Original title: Le château des trompe-l’oeil


Timeless in its genre, which takes up the motifs and structure of the great Gothic novels, but very contemporary in its way of questioning our relationship to freedom and the expression of our desires, beyond all conventions… […] I was caught up in this intrigue inlaid with erudite and sensual writing, haunted by the ghosts of the French Revolution, and where we come across terrible guillotine. […] What a pleasure to hold in one’s hands such a beautiful object-book, with its rigid, heavy, ruby-colored cover, its bluish spine and its thick, soft pages. A success. – Caroline Dorka-Fenech

There is violence, eroticism, mysteries, the long corridors of a disturbing castle. There are ghosts, in history as in writing: those of Sade, Radcliffe, Madame Duras or Balzac de Sarrasine. And there is the talent of Christophe Bigot who, while keeping us spellbound, makes this trompe-l’oeil gothic novel a hard questioning of appearances and sexual identity. – Etienne Kern

First of all: it is a very beautiful object. As for the writing, described as Gothic, it gives, like the whole of the book, the impression of a work from the end of the 19th century. And the story holds in suspense until the last moment. – La Voix du Nord

Le Château des trompes-l’oeil is an impeccable gothic novel hiding, under its historical thriller look, poignant stories of forbidden love. – L’Obs

The Château des trompes-l’oeil plays on the codes of Gothic tales, historical novels and learning stories. A seductive novel for the new school year. Noir and light. – Sud Ouest

With the last gasps of the Revolution as a backdrop, this gothic, romantic and initiatory tale is more than attractive with its careful editing and illustrations. The author alternates art, actions and emotions with a delicate pen, in symbiosis with his time, the beginning of the 19th century. A beautiful piece of writing in a very beautiful box. – Jérôme Carron, Point de Vue

In the Gothic vein, an inexhaustible source of literary inspiration whose endless adaptations continue to appeal to readers: Seule en sa demeure (Alone in Her Home), Cécile Coulon (L’Iconoclaste), Blackwater, Micheal McDowell (Monsieur Toussaint Louverture) and more.

An exceptional publication from Éditions de La Martinière Littérature, on the occasion of the 2022 Fall literary season. The Trompe-l’Oeil-Filled Castle is a tribute to the great Gothic novels of the 19th century. Written in a venomously sensual style, the edition is enriched with 9 illustrated plates. A novel with a unique and fascinating atmosphere that explores ever-timely topics.

In post-revolutionary France, Baptiste, a young notary’s clerk, is heading for the estate of the Baroness d’Escreuil near the Mont Saint Michel. He will stay there while he assesses her fortune. But once he gets there, nothing goes according to plan: the mysterious baroness is conspicuously absent; in fact, no one has seen her for nearly twenty years!

One night, the long wait combined with Baptiste’s curiosity get the better of him, and he decides to explore the huge castle. That’s when he stumbles across the library’s “Hell” section, where the most subversive books of the time are stored. The discovery awakens forbidden desire in him… as well as an anxiety that grows ever greater. Strange events begin to take place: a mysterious threatening note appears, door handles shake in the middle of the night, nocturnal encounters by candle-light, and more. The castle gradually turns into a setting for the unspoken and misleading, for long-buried desires and secrets.

Marketing Information

  • 9 illustrated plates in an antique-engraving style.