Rabelais published the “Very Horrific Life of Great Gargantua” (Vie très horrifique du grand Garagantua) in 1534 or 1535, two years after the first volume of the story, dedicated to his son Pantagruel. This second volume contains a number of extremely famous episodes, including the birth and education of Gargantua, the Picrocholine wars and the subsequent founding of the Abbey of Theleme – a sort of communitarian utopia, given by Gargantua to the colourful Brother John in recompense of services rendered, and in which a single, enigmatic rule is observed: “do what thou will”.
If the geographical scope of these tales is almost as far-reaching as their fame – the ambitious Picrochole notably intends to conquer the entire world –, the majority of the related events actually take place in Touraine.
The transcribed text of the novel presented here is closely based on the original edition conserved in the Médiathèque of Châteauroux, the ancient spelling and sixteenth-century language of which have been preserved. However, the text has been digitally processed such that proper names and place names give access to mapped locations, images and fact sheets.
ReNom displays also the text in modern French spelling.