montagnarde1793: (Je voudrais te dire...)

(And a happy belated birthday to [info]maelicia, too, of course!) That is not, however, the principal point of this post. Rather it is to point out that several older issues of the AHRF are available on, including this one from 1986, which points out a couple of things, for those of you who can't read the original:

1. Apparently the plaque dedicated to Robespierre in the Conciergerie was vandalized that year. D: It's since been replaced, obviously, but still. D: (One can't help imagining whoever did as someone who read some article by a revisionist and decided it was so scandalous that there should be a plaque dedicated to an Evil Bloodthirsty Tyrant (tm) that he had to take matters into his own hands...)

2. More helpfully, it solves the mystery regarding the Duplays' graves in Père Lachaise. I knew the other Duplays were supposed to be buried in Père Lachaise, and in the same division as Éléonore, but I wasn't sure where. Now I know that they were (logically enough) all buried in the same grave, despite what the marker says.

The notice also explains the weird modern tombstone--apparently it was put into place in 1985. Also, the article mentions three details about Éléonore herself, one of which confirms something I had read earlier, the other two of which confuse me somewhat. It does indeed seem that her full name was Marie-Éléonore (I'd say it's pretty obvious why that isn't mentioned more often), but the date of her death is here listed one day off from what I've read elsewhere, and so too her age when she died is a year more than it should be (25 July 1832 vs. 26 July 1832 and 65 vs. 64). I don't know quite what to make of it. Do they have other (better?) information than I do? Or is it just a typo...?

At any rate, the inscription the tombstone now bears is clearly not the one it was originally supposed to, if this notice is to be believed. It clearly reads, "Eléonore Duplay, 1768-1832" with possibly something else which is now illegible beneath, rather than "Duplay Marie-Eléonore, décédée le 25 juillet 1832, à l'âge de 65 ans" ("Duplay Marie-Eléonore, deceased 25 July 1832, at the age of 65").

Also, I am very annoyed that I can't go to the Archives nationales, especially since I found a book with a lot of specific information about when various people (the Duplays, Charlotte Robespierre, Couthon's family) were imprisoned post Thermidor (and where, and for how long, etc.) and which I would not ordinarily find trustworthy (see for yourself), but which, like few of its kind, actually cites archival sources. Still, I don't feel I can really trust the information coming from a source like that. I have to see for myself. And I can't. >.>;;

I should mention, too, that I'm going to be in Santa Fe for a few days, so all commenting and posting (and fic-writing) may have to cease during that time. But I'll be back Sunday, never fear.

1 Thermidor CCXVI

Saturday, 19 July 2008 23:57
montagnarde1793: (Je voudrais te dire...)

Since today--soon to be yesterday--is (was) the first day of that fatal month mentioned in the subject of this post, I thought I'd cheer myself up by seeing a couple of movies I had been wanting to see for some time. This was probably a bad idea, as these movies happened to be WALL-E and Le hussard sur le toit, neither of which is particularly uplifting. I found them both to be very good movies--in extremely different ways. The first, ironically for an animated film requiring so much suspension of disbelief, was much more depressing than the second. This is probably because it's a given that lots of people died of cholera in 1832, whereas the nightmare vision of a future in which the earth is destroyed and everything is controlled by a giant corporation is (I hope!) still not inevitable. -___-; 

In any case, I did notice some lovely Maxime and Saint-Justian parallels in Le hussard sur le toit, which were absolutely adorable. And the movie does have rather a lot of amusing lines. Though I'm almost sorry I've seen it already now, oddly: I'll never be able to see it for the first time again. D: 

...I realize this post is near incoherency already, but I'd like to use this opportunity to decry the US movie rating system. Le hussard sur le toit is rated "R" under this system, which is the highest possible rating that a movie can get and still be marketable. Why? "For a scene of nudity." My Supreme Being! It wasn't even sexual! Sure, there was sexual tension between the protagonists, but that was as true of their (fully clothed) conversation as the scene in question. I mean, WTF, seriously. If you want to get upset about exposing children to something in that movie, at least make it the horrible deaths of cholera. The nude scene may have been the emotional climax of the movie, but that doesn't mean it wasn't tame compared to a lot of the other imagery. There's just no good reason that movie should be rated "R." None. /rant 

But since I did promise I would continue with That Book About Le Bas in this post...


montagnarde1793: (OMSBWTF?)
Explanations, as far as I can give them, will be found, as hinted in this entry's title, in the previous entry
montagnarde1793: (Yes?)
On a subject much discussed of late... (I had a better introduction to this, but LJ ate my entry. >__>) It's been noted that many writers are fond of making unverifiable assertions about the private lives of historical figures, in particular Robespierre. Well, I may well have found the worst offender on that score. Doubtless, Guy Breton's Histoires d'Amour de l'histoire de France (tome VI, on the Revolution) makes some rather disturbing assertions, but more disturbing still, is, as you will see, the fact that when it comes to giving his opinions there are actually some* of them I agree with--which I've bolded. Except for that, I wouldn't have bothered to post this but... Well, you'll have to read it. 

*Obviously there are others I do not, cannot, and will never even remotely agree with. In fact, that would be most of them, but nevertheless there are some I can't help seeing as reasonable, if only by chance.

I should mention, by the way, that the author of That Book About Le Bas advances a pretty convincing argument for Mme Duplay's death having been murder rather than suicide.
montagnarde1793: (rousseau)

I really did have very bizarre dreams last night--not at all in the same way as last time though. For one thing, they were in color and they didn't seem to have the actors from LTelV. It was still very creepy though, because it was as if I had tuned into Dantoniste World. Maxime and Éléonore were still there, as I've never had a dream about the Revolution without them, but the only other people in it were Dantonistes. And they were all doing very random things, like:

There was one part of it in which Desmoulins was doing a rather convincing rabbit imitation. (You know, the hopping and the nose twitching and all...) Presumably this was for the benefit of the several small children that had latched on to him (I'm assuming they were Horace and the probably Danton's kids, but you never know O.O).

There was another part where they were all outside on this big pavillion decked with tricolor ribbons and they were all taking turns dancing to this very lively fiddling. (As I remember, it was Danton and his wife--not sure which one--first, then the Desmoulins, then Maxime and Éléonore...) I'm not sure what they were all doing there together without the rest of the Montagne: it was very creepy. And then when Maxime and Éléonore were dancing, Fabre d'Églantine came and sat with the Desmoulins and started singing "Il pleut bergère," which didn't at all go with the music that was being played for the dancing. But they seemed *really* fascinated by his singing nonetheless--to the point that they were gaping at him in wonder. O.o;

And then there was another part that was much more cute, but didn't make any more sense. Maxime and Éléonore were riding somewhere in a coach (I really have no idea where or why) and they were obviously talking about something very important--I think it might have been something about the Dantonistes, in the time leading up to their arrest. But they weren't really taking it too seriously, oddly enough. What I imagine to be about every thirty seconds or so in dream time, they kept looking out the windows to see if anyone was watching them, and then kissing if they decided that no one was. It was also strange and random, just because I had no idea where they were going or what they were so happy about. >__>

There was a lot more to the dream, but I can't really remember it--just that it was all very strange and Maxime and Éléonore were the only Robespierristes in it. I must say I found it particularly odd that Le Bas wasn't in it, considering I just translated a lot of his correspondance last night. O.o; Not to mention the fact that, it would take crack to make a dream as random and weird as that and Le Bas is, as far as I know the only Revolutionary crack dealer.


And then today they've put the scaffold up at my school, which means they're running that horrible, ghastly reenactment again. If I believed that dreams could be omens I might wonder why on earth everyone was so happy in the dream I've just described. Perhaps I've just finally cracked. -__-;

....Anyway, does anyone have any ideas of what I might do to sabotage the reenactment, or at least it's message? Pamphlets, maybe?

montagnarde1793: (ame virile)

So, in an article of Hilary Mantel's, her first one, I believe, on the subject, she says the following: "'Eléonore thought she was loved,' said a fellow-student, 'but really she only scared him.'" (Him, being, of course, Maxime.) Now, I happen to know that, though a British historian uses this quote in the same way, they're both taking it rather out of context.

The entirety of the said student's writing (the accuracy of which Lenôtre himself admits is tenuous at best) on the subject of Éléonore is reproduced in Lenôtre's Paris révolutionnaire:

"Éléonore se croyait aimée, elle n'était que redoutée," says the student ("Éléonore believed herself to be loved when she was but feared"), but indeed, by whom? Why the other (supposedly royalist) students, of course! She continues: "Excepté quatre ou cinq élèves, chacun s'empressait de lui plaire, de la consulter, de prévenir ses désirs; les petits soins qu'on lui prodiguait contrastaient singulièrement avec la fierté aristocratique de quelques-unes de nous." (In translation: "With the exception of four or five students, everyone tried to please her, to consult her, to foresee her desires; the little cares extended toward her contrasted singularly with the aristocratic pride of some of us.")

In other words, she's not talking about Éléonore's relationship with Maxime at all, and logically so, for, whatever Mantel might think, it would make no sense for her to frighten him. An ignorant girl of aristocratic sensibilities, on the other hand, might persuade herself that Éléonore was to be feared (although not necessarily even in such a case, obviously).

This might not be quite so bad if Mantel had not based her entire theory of Éléonore's character on the line, but since she did, and since she used it to paint a rather slanderous picture of her, and in particular her relation to Maxime, not to mention the fact that this is not the first time she's taken such a line out of context, it reflects very badly indeed.

(I'm thinking one of three things must have happened: one, Hilary Mantel has a very minimal knowledge of French and thus she misunderstood what the "fellow student" was trying to say, two she deliberately took the line out of context and warped its meaning (which, considering, I wouldn't put past her), or three, she read Carr's biography of Maxime and didn't bother to check the original source, in which case one of the first two would have to apply to him instead, but one can still berate Mantel for sloppy research in the latter case.)

In any case, in order to keep this entry from being a complete waste, here's my translation of Lamartine's account of a meeting with Élisabeth Le Bas, also quoted in Paris révolutionnaire:

"I found in Mme Lebas, a woman of the Bible after the dispersion of the tribunes of Babylon, retired from the commerce of the living on a high floor of a fashionable apartment building on the Rue de Tournon, conversant with her memories, surrounded by portraits of her family..., of her sisters, of whom Robespierre was to marry the most beautiful, of Robespierre himself in all those elegant suits with which he boasted to present a contrast upon his person with the vest, the bonnet rouge, sabots, sordid signs, ignoble flattery by the Jacobins of equality and of the poverty of the masses. A magnificent portrait in pastel, of natural grandeur, of Saint-Just, the Barbaroux of the terrorists, the Antinous of the Jacobins, was displayed in a dusty gold frame against the wall between the bed-curtains and the wall, the object of a young girl's cult of memory for the most seductive of the disciples of the tribune of death. [Lamartine, in case you hadn't noticed, likes to be rather overly melodramatic and this leads him to many inaccuracies; I do apologize.]

"The young girl had become a wife, a mother, a widow; she had grown old in years and in face, with no trace of her former beauty in her features, but with no sign of age or senility. A fixed thought, sad by not at all disconcerted, gave to her strongly pronounced features a sort of lapidary petrification in a sole idea and sentiment, an abstract idea, a firm sentiment, but not at all strict.

"She welcomed me securely... she accorded me free access to her retreat, and let me flip through, page by page at my leisure, her present memoirs, inexhaustible and passionate on all the interior and exterior details of Robespierre's private and public life.

"Saint-Just also played a large role in these memoirs. I imagine that before marrying Lebas the young daughter of the entrepreneur Duplay, Robespierre's host, had thought for a moment to become the wife of the young and handsome proconsul, fanatical follower of this Mahomet of the mezzanine [reference to a Voltaire play], when the Revolution would finally come to a close by that sentimental sheepfold that Saint-Just and his master believed they were establishing in the place of the leveled inequalities and abolished scaffolds... Every time Saint-Just's name came up in our interviews, Mme Lebas's tone softened, her physiognomy was visibly touched, and she raised a glace of retrospective enthusiasm from his portrait to the ceiling like a silent reproach to the heavens for having taken some sweet perspective by the axe of 1794, with that exterminating angel's head upon the bust of a twenty-seven year-old proscriber."

...Lamartine has the strangest ideas, assuredly. Even Lenôtre, says, concerning the last bit: "I have long sought that which could have made this indiscreet and inexplicable supposition take hold in Lamartine's mind; Saint-Just loved, it is said, Henriette Lebas, his colleague's sister. [...] It would be possible, but improper and unjust to draw from this reticence [on the part of Le Bas--'we are currently very good friends, Saint-Just and I,' etc.] any conclusion in the direction indicated by Lamartine."

And one more thing, in case you missed it a couple of posts ago: do check out my new drawings on deviantart, won't you? I've added quite a few, especially in scraps. Merci d'avance. ♥


Sunday, 13 May 2007 14:24
montagnarde1793: (OMSBWTF?)
So, I got some books on the Revolution for my birthday (which was 4 Floréal, if anyone wants to know), and I had a very elaborate post with analysis and review of all of them that I made last weekend. Unfortunately livejournal ate it, so I'm just going to post about them my category, the first being plays. Actually, I didn't get all of these for my birthday; I just figured now would be a good time to discuss them.

If anyone wants anything translated, by the way, feel free to ask!

I'll be back soon with either biographies or novels. ^__^

Edit: W. T. F. But then... from whence: "It is a pity, for example, that more is not said about the female companions of the Jacobin 'villains' in this piece: Marat's common-law wife Simone Evrard, or Robespierre's sisters." Perhaps if books about women in the Revolution followed this advice, reviewers would have heard of Éléonore. Or is that asking too much, I wonder? ...I suppose better they not have heard of her than have them have the opinion of the first play in this post, though.
montagnarde1793: (Default)
Though I am supposed, of course, to be studying, necessity demanded that I interrupt my analysis of the effects of the American Civil War to quote what is one of the most odious passages I have ever had the misfortune to come across in a novel. The novel is, The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, and comes from the pen of one who claims for herself the title of "historian." I say this, because no one in his right mind would accord it to her after reading this passage. Though it comes from a novel, we are always responsible for what we write, still more for what we publish. Which is why I can assert with some confidence that Carolly Erickson does not deserve the title of historian, though I have not read her biography of Antoinette.

I suppose I've traumatized you enough for one night, so I'll refrain from mentioning any and all other scenes in this book that might have a detrimental effect on you.

montagnarde1793: (Maxime/Eleonore)
More picspam! ...Don't you just feel SO lucky? I've managed to scan the rest, but I won't be posting them all this time around, because there are so many. You will, however, see such strange and varied objects ans a FdlES!fan and a Maxime!pipe. And yes, [profile] daughtermestizo, you will finally get to see what Charlotte looked like.
... )
montagnarde1793: (Default)
And as promised, the full text of chapter eight of 'La Vie Privée de Robespierre' by Bernard Narbonne )

(Admittedly, it's poorly translated, but I was in a hurry and some of those sentences were really quite convoluted.)
montagnarde1793: (Default)
On this page, I write my last confession... just kidding. Seriously, though I ought to write what I normally write to my sister here, as she doesn't answer anyway.

So I will, for lack of any better ideas, quote my last letter to her:

Lucile :

Ce bouquin--celui d'Emile Zola--qu'est-ce que le titre?

This book--the one by Emile Zola--what is the title?

Je trouvais un site sur France ; peut-etre ca t'interesse? :

I found a site on France; perhaps it will interest you?

C'est tres interessant. Je veux regarder <> pour comprendre ce qui se passe dans les banlieues de Paris et des autres ville francaises...

It's very interesting. I want to see "La Haine" now to understand what has been going on in the "suburbs" of Paris and other French cities...

Je te manque beaucoup!

I miss you very much!

Vertu et egalite,


P.-S. : Un excerpt de "Le Bourgeois sans-culotte ou Le spectre du parc Monceau" par Kateb Yacine :

An excerpt from "The Bourgeois Sans-Culotte ou The Specter of Park Monceau" by Kateb Yacine:



Un spectre hante la France, le spectre du parc Monceau, le spectre de Robespierre, l'intrus, le mal-aime, le malfame, l'incontournable.

A specter haunts France, the specter of Park Monceau, the specter of Robespierre, the intruder, the badly-loved, the defamed, the uncontrollable one.

(On entend a nouveau le cri de mort de Robespierre)

(Robespierre's death-cry is heard anew)

Un spectre hante la France. Le spectre de Robespierre frappe a sa porte depuis deux siecles. Il n'a pas eu d'enfance, pas de jeunesse, pas de femme. Sa femme, c'etait la Republique.

A specter haunts France. The specter of Robespierre has knocked at her door for two centuries. He has not had a childhood, nor a youth, nor a wife. His wife, she was the Republic.



Republique, es-tu la?

Republic, are you there?

Entre la Republique : l'actrice qui fut Eleonore.

Enter the Republic: the actrice who was Eleonore.



Quelle Republique? La premiere? Elle est morte d'un coup d'Etat militaire que tu voyais venir en la personne de Bonaparte.

Which Republic? The first? She died from a military coup d'Etat that you saw come in the person of Bonaparte.

Entre Napoleon. Apres un tour de danse avec Eleonore, il quitte la scene, remplace par Petain, puis par de Gaulle.

Enter Napoleon. After a turn of dancing with Eleonore, he quits the scene, replaced by Petain, then by de Gaulle.



La deuxieme Republique? Elle est morte etouffee, entre deux empires. Et la troisieme fut victime, une fois de plus, d'un militaire, le marechal Petain, qui la sacrifia sous la botte nazie.

The second Republic? She died suppressed, between two empires. And the third was the victim, one time more, of a military man, the marshal Petain, who would sacrifice her under the nazi boot.



Republique, es-tu la?

Republic, are you there?



Quelle Republique? La quatrieme? Elle fit ses premiers pas avec un autre (encore un autre) militaire, le general de Gaulle. Il n'hesita pas a la supprimer, pour fonder, a son tour, la cinquieme Republique, nee de la guerre d'Algerie. Ainsi la Republique fut souvent renversee, d'un militaire a l'autre. Mais toujours elle se releve, avec le souvenir de son premier amant : Maximilien Robespierre.

Which Republic? The fourth? She took her first steps with another (yet another) military man, the general de Gaulle. He would not hesitate to suppress her, to found, in his turn, the fifth Republic, born of the war in Algeria. In such ways, the Republic was often overthrown, by one military man or another. But always she would rise again, with the memory of her first lover: Maximilien Robespierre.

Les militaires quittent la scene. Eleonore et Robespierre s'embrassent longuement, puis s'eloignent dans l'ombre.

The military men quit the scene. Eleonore and Robespierre kiss at length, then remove into the shadows.


I bet you've never been the Republic before.

I feel special;)


Salut a tous.......





montagnarde1793: (Default)
I just got back from Paris, France (aka the best place in the world). It was amazing! I really didn't want to leave.

The Conciergerie and the Musee Carnavalet were definitely the highlights:

In the Carnavalet, not only do they have that famous picture of Robespierre (and the one of Camille, and the one of Lucile), but they also had a lock of his hair, a tricolor rosette he wore to the Jacobins right before the Fete de l'Etre Supreme, his briefcase type thing (porte-feuille), and his shaving bowl.

The Conciergerie, apart from being the last place Robespierre was in before he died, had a very nice bust of him and a ladder that had been in my historical persona, Eleonore Duplay's house. (They had written that there was a rumor that he used it to get to his room, but I really don't see why he would have needed it, considering his room was on the ground level.)

Speaking of my historical persona's house, however... It was a bit of a disappointment. They had turned it into a store (whose name I have blocked out), and it didn't even have its courtyard anymore. It really is too bad they closed Le Robespierre. I would have killed to be able to go there.

And again, speaking of death, I also saw the Catacombes, where Robespierre's (along with just about everyone else who was guillotined) remains Yes. I think stacked would describe it. BTW: I will post pictures as soon as I can... not just of that but of everything.

Still on the subject of death, I also saw my historical persona's grave in Pere Lachaise, after some difficulty. It was very nice. The Societe des Etudes Robespierristes fixed it up, with a new plaque, flowers, little trees, tricolor ribbons, and (I suspect) a place on the map--the map only mentions the more "important" figures buried there.

Another interesting thing was the Pantheon. Among other people, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Condorcet are entombed there. It is muchly cool (both literally and figuratively).

On the way to the Pantheon, we saw the Sorbonne and tried to see Louis-le-Grand, but apparently they've built a new wing--or something--because we could only see the courtyard through a window.

All in all, it was the best trip ever, and I hope to be able to go back soon--whatever anyone else says be damned!



montagnarde1793: (Default)

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