montagnarde1793: (Maxime/Eleonore)
[personal profile] montagnarde1793

Not you too, Nodier!

I should probably be less surprised by now:

"Robespierre avoit pour sécretaire, à l'époque de sa mort, un jeune homme nommé Duplay, fils de son hôte le menuisier, et dont on prétend qu'il avoit secrètement épousé la soeur."

("Robespierre had for secretary, at the time of his death, a young man named Duplay, the son of his host the cabinetmaker, and whose sister they say he had secretly married.")

To get an idea of the plausibility of the final assertion, you would do well not note that Simon Duplay was not Maurice Duplay's son, but his nephew, and that he wasn't actually (contrary to popular belief) Robespierre's secretary either (more on that later).

(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 20 March 2011 14:11 (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hello! I'm that student who asked you about Sophie some weeks ago, do you remember me? I still don't have a LJ account because I know that I'll never use it.
So, Simon was not Robespierre's secretary??? I'm waiting for the details O.O
Why I'm so amused for that? :\

(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 20 March 2011 21:19 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember you, yes. I should have time to post the details of Simon Duplay's status - as figured in a very useful article from the AHRF by Mathiez - sometime next week, never fear.

(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 3 April 2011 05:42 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes; as far as I know, Simon Duplay , who had lost a leg in Valmy (at least it was what I've read, they called him "Duplay à la jambe de bois"), used to help Robespierre in his work. However, I think he was not Robespierre 's "secretary". He only helped him here and there.

And evidently Simon was NOT Maurice Duplay...and the last one would have been too young in order to be Maximilien's secretary.


(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 3 April 2011 16:15 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't know if Simon helped Robespierre in his work; I've never seen a source that alleged specifically that he wasn't his secretary but helped him out from time to time. Sometime in the near future I'm going to post a translation of Mathiez's short article where he demonstrates that Simon was not Robespierre's secretary, the gist of which is that Simon declared that he wasn't Robespierre's secretary and that Robespierre didn't have a secretary, and that this is borne out by the fact that every manuscript copy of Robespierre's speeches that has come down to us is in his own hand.

Naturally, like so much of what he wrote, this entire passage is essentially just Nodier showing his ignorance.

(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 3 April 2011 18:28 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well; I do not have the book at hand now, but I think that Lamartine also claimed that Simon Duplay was Maxciem's secretary. Possibily he had read Nodier's writtings and just cpied away what he wrote. This is the way rumors begins...

I think I read somewhere that Simon Duplay declared he wasn't Robespierre's secretary. But Maximilien was very criticized at the time he said it, so myabe he was afraid of being put in jail or something...For if he must said he was NOT his secretary, there were already rumors about that possibility. So, maybe the rumors originated before Nodier's memories were published and he just repeated what he had heard.


(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 3 April 2011 23:07 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He probably does; most 19th century authors claim that Simon Duplay was Robespierre's secretary, but they never cite their sources.

It's certainly true that at the time Simon Duplay made his declaration he would have good reason to want to distance himself from Robespierre. At the same time, he explicitly states not only that he was not Robespierre's secretary, but that Robespierre didn't have a secretary, which as I say, is borne out by his manuscripts. Certainly, the rumor already existed by the time Simon was questioned in the Year III that he had been Robespierre's secretary, otherwise he wouldn't have been asked about it, but the rumor could have started from something as simple as Simon running an errand or two for Robespierre, or even just from the fact that they lived in the same house and shared similar political views. In any case, there are no pre-Thermidorian sources that I know of that allude to Simon's having been Robespierre's secretary and no one who was really in a position to know mentions anything about it at any point.

In other words, I would chalk it up to an unsubstantiated rumor even without Simon's formal declaration and the manuscript evidence. With them, it seems even more unlikely.


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