I've put this off long enough. As I mentioned a couple of posts back, Emmanuel Lanne, a good friend of Philippe Le Bas's, was executed on 17 Floréal Year III, essentially for being a judge at the Revolutionary Tribunal. I came across the letter he wrote on the eve of his execution in Buchez and Roux and I wanted to share it with you on the anniversary of his death, but since I was in the middle of writing a paper at the time, I was obliged to put it off. Here's the letter now:
In other news, I'm thinking of adopting a more revolutionary penname. I'm obviously Estella/Estelle to everyone who knows me from LJ/deviantart, which is left over from my middle school LOTR obsession (if you don't get the reference, don't worry, you wouldn't unless you like reading hobbit genealogies), but I really think it's time to move on. There was some discussion in my seminar today about revolutionary first names, in which two historians who shall not be named because this post isn't f-locked and I do want to preserve some shred of anonymity, in the context of a larger discussion of cultural phenomena during the French Revolution briefly mentioned names that they likely would have adopted if they had been alive at the time (I must say, I found this absolutely adorable, though I may be the only one).
This got me thinking about a revolutionary name - or at least penname - for myself. Now, that would still leave the choice of one pretty wide open, since I could pick a name from Antiquity: Porcie, say, or Aspasie (for an interesting discussion of Robespierre's positive references to the latter - among other things - I recommend reading Fl. Gauthier's article in Républicanismes et droit naturel). I could pick a revolutionary value (though I might feel a bit like an allegory then, which would be odd): Liberté, Justice, Vertu, etc. I could pick my month or day of birth: FlorĂ©al or AubĂ©pine. I could even theoretically take the name of a revolutionary martyr, but I would feel weird running around calling myself Marat or Lepeletier (or Couthon or Soubrany, for that matter). I would insert a poll, but I don't really feel like setting it up. Still, let me know your thoughts. (I'm leaning toward FlorĂ©al at this point, but I could be persuaded otherwise if anyone has a better idea...)