Here is the tragic story of Blanche Monnier born on 1st March 1849-13th October 1913. She was a beautiful French socialite, who with her very noble and well respected family lived in the town Poitiers. She was renowned for her physical beauty and therefore attracted many suitors who wished to marry her. In 1872 when she was 25 she fell in love with a penniless lawyer, Blanche’s bourgeoise mother Louise was horrified and disapproved wholeheartedly. Angered by her daughter’s defiance in continuing to see the man she loved, Mme Monnier locked her daughter in a tiny, dark attic room of their home. Here she was kept, tied to a bed, heavy curtains blocking the only window, secluded for the next 25 years.
Throughout this time, Blanche’s mother Louise Monnier and her brother Marcel, continued with their daily lives, mourning the disappearance of the girl, who had simply and to all intents and purposes vanished. The lawyer that she intended to marry died unexpectedly, the year after she was incarcerated.
On the 23rd May 1901, the Paris Attorney General received an anonymous letter that revealed the poor woman’s plight.
Blanche Monnier, now 50 years old was found naked on a rotten straw mattress, surrounded by her own filth, with only a rat to share the crusts that were fed to her.
Her mother was arrested, but died just 15 days later. Marcel was deemed mentally incapacitated and no charges were made against him.
After Blanche was released from the attic room, she suffered from many mental health problems, which led her to be hospitalized until her death in 1913.