On June 2, 1630, Father Urbain Grandier, the parish priest of St.-Pierre-du-Marche of Loudun, France, was accused of witchcraft by a group of Ursuline nuns. Grandier, a politically-influential priest with a worldly lifestyle, scandalous affairs, and romantic adventures, had made many enemies. In 1618, Grandier had written a sarcastic discourse about Cardinal Richelieu. By 1630, Richelieu had become one of the most powerful men in France, and would play an important role in the Loudun case.
Alexandre Dumas was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. Many of his novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne were serialized. Dumas also wrote plays and magazine articles, and was a prolific correspondent.