Alphonse Daudet

The Reverend Father Gaucher's Elixir

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Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897) was one of France's finest storytellers.

The Reverend Father Gaucher's Elixir is set in a dilapidated monastery in Provence. The order has fallen on hard times and the future of the entire monastery is in jeopardy. But the order's simpleton cow-herd, Brother Gaucher, has an unexpected idea. His old Auntie Bégon had in her later years invented a marvellous herbal elixir. By producing, bottling, and selling this, Brother Gaucher believes the order can become as rich as the Trappists and the monks of Chartreuse.

The Prior is enthusiastic and Brother Gaucher sets to work, and before long the whole monastery is thriving. Brother Gaucher - now elevated to Father Gaucher - works alone and in secret in his distillery producing the wonderful and sought-after brew. But it is not long before Father Gaucher starts behaving very oddly...and his madness threatens to destabilize the whole monastery....
Cathy Dobson
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