In the early days, daughters aren’t allowed to choose who they want to marry. They are usually arranged to another gentleman with good family background and wealth to be able to gain a good standing for the family.
But when a daughter stubbornly fights for her love, what would you think to happen? One story of a woman may just leave you in tears when she decided to do just that.
A beautiful 25-year old, Blanche Monnier was a darling in the society. She’s like every woman at her age, unlike in today’s society where women focus on building careers, Blanche is different because she is looking for a man or a suitor before she reaches the cursed age of spinsterhood.
In the year 1876 Blanch Monnier was living in Paris with her family, and women in this era mostly focus on grabbing an elite bachelor to marry. However, Blanche fell in love with an older man who was unfortunately broke and untitled. Of course, this is not acceptable to Blanche’s aristocratic parents, as marrying below your station in life is not encouraged.
But one day, Blanche just disappeared. While everyone is looking for her and wondered where she’s been, Blanche’s mother and brother mourned her, and ultimately went on with their lives, doing their daily routines. No one saw this question as it is often rare for a woman to just vanish unless she is dead. But in time, Blanche’s disappearance was discovered.
After 25-years, May 23 of the year 1901, the office of attorney general of Paris received a strange letter which was unsigned and seems like it was written hurriedly and in secret. It was not the handwriting that makes is suspicious, but it was what the letter said.
In it, “Monsieur Attorney General: I have the honor to inform you of an exceptionally serious occurrence. I speak of a spinster who is locked up in Madame Monnier’s house, half starved, and living on a putrid litter for the past twenty-five years – in a word, in her own filth.”
This opened an investigation to house Monnier even though they had a pristine reputation, this one tarnished their name. One day, a group of police started the operation to find the locked room the letter talks about.
They searched the house until they saw a door with a padlock, the officers then broke the lock and opened the door. The first thing that hit them was the stinky smell coming from the room. But the officers continued their search until they saw a frail woman who seems like she was extremely malnourished with the state of her body. It was like life was sucked out of her, and the worst thing was she was surrounded by rotten food and her own waste.
An investigation into the room has not ensued as the odor made is impossible for any human being to stay longer. However, this woman did and judged by her looks, she needs to get out of that room.
The woman was apparently, Blanche Monnier who mysteriously vanished 25-years ago. She was locked up by her own mother in the attic, and her brother helped her with it.
Blanche had not seen the light in 25-years, so she keeps on squinting when she was brought outside. According to a witness, the description of the room went, “The unfortunate woman was lying completely naked on a rotten straw mattress. All around her was formed a sort of crust made from excrement, fragments of meat, vegetables, fish, and rotten bread. We also saw oyster shells and bugs running across Mademoiselle Monnier’s bed.” He continued, “The air was so unbreathable, the odor given off by the room was so rank, that it was impossible for us to stay any longer to proceed with our investigation.”
Ironically, previous to this, an award was given to Madame Monnier from the Committee of good works because of her generosity to the city. But she was immediately arrested for the case of locking her daughter in the attic.
However, she died 15 days after she was jailed, but she admitted that when her daughter refused to give up her love for the broke lawyer, she decided to lock her up in the tiny room. Blanche’s punishment continued until her lover died in 1885.
Her brother was also jailed too for helping her mother. He was then sentenced to 15 months in prison. However, he claimed that Blanche would have left the house at any time but chose to stay. This shocked everyone in the courtroom since, Blanche’s door was most certainly padlocked. How would she be able to leave then?
Blanche Monnier lived for another 12 years after she was rescued. It is sad how love is not very much appreciated back In her time, but we can only hope she was happy in her last years in life.