I think, though I don't have proof, that I've come up with the theory that makes the most sense regarding Edmée-Louise-Clémence and it's one of my back-posts that has given me the key: one from nearly two years ago in which I posted an article I had found, and which says, among other things:
"Son fils [celui de Le Bas] épousa à Paris, (1er arrondissement), le 2 octobre 1817 une parente, Edmée-Louise-Clémence Duplay, née à Paris le 27 floréal an 7 (16 avril 1799), fille de Mathieu-Jacques, menuisier et d’Agathe-Edmée Buchon époux"
"His [Le Bas's] son married a relative, Edmée-Louise-Clémence Duplay, born in Paris on 27 Floréal Year 7 (16 April 1799), daughter of Mathieu-Jacques, cabinetmaker, and Agathe-Edmée Buchon, husband and wife, in Paris (1st arrondissement) on 2 October 1817"
(It goes on to say that he was employed in the bureau of hospices, but I think it's confusing him with his cousin Jacques-Maurice Duplay.)
At any rate, here's my theory. I've read various places that Simon Duplay, son of Mathieu Duplay, had a brother called Jacques. My theory is that this Mathieu-Jacques is Simon's brother and that therefore Mathieu Duplay is Edmée-Louise-Clémence's grandfather, not her father. This makes a lot more sense generationally and allows her to be born at the date given here.
...Does anyone know of a program for constructing family trees? I think I'm going to need one to keep proper track of all the Duplays and Le Bas.
In other back-post related news, remember this post? No? Well...
( Follow the cut to the passage in question. )
As it turns out, we've all (Paul Coutant, J. Lucas-Dubreton, G. Lenotre, and I) underestimated just how much Jules Simon knew about the situation, probably for want of not having read his more complete account of the incident in question, which he published in his memoirs, but I have just done so and even translated it for you. Voyons ce que ça donne...
( In the original French )
( In translation )
Clearly the woman Jules Simon saw was indeed Charlotte. For several reasons: 1. Éléonore was already dead in 1834, when he claims to have met Ph. Le Bas fils for the first time - and this checks out with his biography. 2. He knows enough about both Éléonore and Charlotte to be able to tell them apart. 3. He provides a plausible reason for her being there. It makes sense that a dying Charlotte - remember that she died in 1834 - would want to reconcile with the Le Bas before her death. It makes sense too that the Le Bas, encouraged by their circle, for whom Charlotte was more a symbol of her brother(s) than an individual, would respect the wishes of a dying woman, especially one who happened to be Robespierre's sister. Their negative judgment of her character in no way precludes this. J. Simon makes it clear that this meeting was considered something special and it would have been, if it were indeed the first (and probably last) meeting of Charlotte and the Le Bas in many years. J. Simon's bias then turns the respect and perhaps even, for some, reverence of Charlotte (in the latter case, as a symbol - J. Simon is doubtless correct in this respect) into "everyone was treating her like a queen." Everything checks out.