Jules René Lucien Belbenoît was a French prisoner on Devil’s Island who successfully escaped to the United States. He later published his memoir “Dry Guillotine: Fifteen Years among the Living Dead,” which was published in 1939. Belbenoit’s book provides a firsthand account of his experiences as a prisoner in the notorious French penal colony. The book sheds light on the harsh conditions and brutal treatment endured by the inmates, as well as the corruption within the prison system.

Belbenoit’s work is associated with the theme of injustice and the struggle for survival. Through his writing, he exposes the inhumane practices of the penal colony and raises awareness about the need for prison reform. Belbenoit’s detailed descriptions and vivid storytelling style make his book a powerful and influential work in the genre of prison literature.

Dry Guillotine: Fifteen Years among the Living Dead remains Belbenoit’s most significant and influential work. It has been widely read and translated into multiple languages, contributing to the public’s understanding of the French penal system during the early 20th century. Belbenoit’s firsthand account continues to be a valuable resource for historians and scholars studying the history of prisons and criminal justice.

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