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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1991 Sep;12(3):255-61.

The man in the scarlet cloak. The mysterious death of Peter Anthony Motteux.


Peter Anthony Motteux (1663-1718), a Huguenot refugee in London, established a literary reputation by completing Sir Thomas Urquhart's translation of Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, then Cervantes' Don Quixote. He later became an import-export merchant. On his 55th birthday he donned his scarlet cloak and went out on the town. He picked up a prostitute and after some dalliance returned to her bordello. Shortly thereafter he was found dead, although the evidence is that he was in good health when he arrived. Literary evidence is that he died from assisted erotic asphyxia, a variant of autoerotic asphyxia, cf. the case of Frantisek Koczwara (Am J Forensic Med Pathol 5:145-149, 1984.).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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