Published in 1532, Pantagruel was Rabelais’ first novel. Its hero is the son of the giant Gargantua, whose extraordinary life would constitute the subject matter of Rabelais’ second book, published two years later.
Rabelais borrowed the name Pantagruel from a minor stock figure of late medieval theatre – a little devil whose burlesque personality he transformed into a danger-braving champion of the good causes of his time: an indefatigable opponent of power-abusers (notably theologians and censors) and enemies of the kingdom and a righteous upholder of the Gospel and free speech. The version presented here is conform with the 1542 edition, 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. (the edition in modern French spelling is in progress).