21 janvier

Thursday, 21 January 2010 18:21
montagnarde1793: (couthon)
Well, I'm getting more or less back to normal here... Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] maelicia and [livejournal.com profile] trf_chan for your words of comfort and sympathy.

I have just a couple of items. The first is something I wanted to share earlier but was prevented from doing so by circumstances. I started reading Martine Braconnier's biography of Couthon this month and I came across a puzzling and disturbing fact. In this biography there is Couthon's family tree and on this tree it states that his wife, Marie Brunel, was born in 1774, which would make her only twelve or thirteen at the time of her marriage to Couthon (then 31) in 1787. This seemed rather unlikely to me. I thought, this must be a typo. So I looked around on-line and saw the same story recounted in the first footnote here, that essentially Couthon had known Marie Brunel since his youth, which would obviously not be possible if she were born in 1774.

However, perhaps the date is not a simple typo. This royet.org article, the only other source I can find that agrees with the 1774 date has this to say:

En 1787, il épousa une très jeune fille dont une tradition erronée fait une « amie d’enfance » longuement courtisée, ce qui est impossible. Agée de douze ans, Marie Brunel avait dix-neuf ans de moins que lui. Elle était la fille du lieutenant du baillage d’Orcet.

("In 1787, he married a very young girl whom an erroneous tradition claims was a childhood friend, long courted, which is impossible. At twelve years old, Marie Brunel was nineteen years younger than him. She was the daughter of the lieutenant of the bailiwick of Orcet.")

Then again, it lists Braconnier's biography as a source, so it's possible it just copied the date from there. (In any case, if the date is a typo, I think it must come from Braconnier's source-article because she does mention later that Couthon's wife would have been twenty when her husband was executed.)

I can't help but find this date implausible. My weakest reason in terms of evidence, but certainly the one that caused me to investigate this int he first place: Couthon just doesn't seem like the type to marry a 12 year-old girl. But moving on to some perhaps more convincing evidence.

First, while aristos sometimes married their daughters off at 12, it doesn't exactly fit the demographics of Couthon's milieu.

Second, Couthon and Marie Brunel had their first child the year of their marriage. Given that this is a period in which maturation happened later on average than it does now, I'm guessing most 12-13 year-olds would be physically incapable of conceiving and bearing a child.

Third, and perhaps most important, it's just inconceivable that not one of his contemporaries, not one of the Thermidorian propagandists, and no one in the historiography would have anything to say about this. Look at everything that's been written about Danton's "child bride"--if a 16 year-old is a child bride, then surely a twelve year-old must be. I know Couthon has often been ignored by the historiography, but I can't believe that such detractors has Couthon has had wouldn't have leapt on this.

Strangely, the only other source that seems to have considered this and agrees with me that I can find is Wikipedia:

Malgré sa maladie, il se marie, le 16 janvier 1787 avec Marie Brunel, fille du notaire-greffier et lieutenant du bailliage d'Orcet Antoine Brunel âgée de 22 ans[10],[11]

  1. L'Ami de la religion, tome 118, n° 3807, 26 septembre 1843, p. 606 Lire en ligne [archive].
  2. Il semble que Marie Brunel soit née le 11 janvier 1765, même si certains avis la font naître le 18 avril 1774. Voir le Bulletin historique et scientifique de l'Auvergne, Académie des sciences, belles-lettres et arts de Clermont-Ferrand, n° 700-703, 1989, p. 340.
("Despite his illness, he marries Marie Brunel, aged 22 years, daughter of the notary-clerk and lieutenant of the bailiwick of Orcet Antoine Brunel, on 16 January 1787 (10) (11).

"(10) L'Ami de la religion, tome 118, n° 3807, 26 September 1843, p. 606.
"(11) It seems that Marie Brunel was born on 11 January 1765, even if some consider that she was born on 18 April 1774. See the Bulletin historique et scientifique de l'Auvergne, Académie des sciences, belles-lettres et arts de Clermont-Ferrand, n° 700-703, 1989, p. 340.")

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get a hold of this article, but it seems likely that it confirms my suspicions... And it's probably just another instance of incorrect birthdates floating around, which can happen for a number of reasons. (It's a bit like the--less potentially disturbing--case of sources that claim Éléonore was born in 1771, would would be impossible for someone with three younger sisters, the youngest of whom was born in 1773.)


In other news, I know I'm more than half a year late to complain about this, but why did this have to exist? And why did they actually have to use music I know and like? D:


And, saving the most immediately relevant for last, do have a happy 21 January. Tête de veau, anyone? XD (Oh, and: Joyeux anniversaire, Augustin ! I probably should have posted something about you. Oh well, next year. >.>)
montagnarde1793: (rousseau)

Though I really should be practicing for my singing contest, I thought, just to prove once again, belatedly, that I am still not dead, that I should post as concerns random items of varying levels of interest. (Please ignore the fact that the preceding sentence makes very little sense.)

I find this amusing--pity it seems to be so true though:

You may write a novel about the French Revolution. You may do it on your head, as the jolly habitual criminals say. The essential principles of this sort of novel are: (1) That the populace of Paris from 1790 to 1794 never had any meals, nor even sat down in a café. They stood about in the street all night and all day, sufficiently sustained by the sight of Blood, especially Blue Blood. (2) All power during the Terror was in the hands of the public executioner and of Robespierre; and these persons were subject to abrupt changes of mind, and frequently redeemed their habit of killing people for no apparent reason by letting them off at the last moment, for no apparent reason either. (3) Aristocrats are of two kinds--the very wicked and the entirely blameless; and both are invariably good-looking. Both also appear rather to prefer being guillotined. (4) Such things as the invasion of France, the idea of a Republic, the influence of Rousseau, the nearness of national bankruptcy, the work of Carnot with the armies, the policy of Pitt, the policy of Austria, the ineradicable habit of protecting one's property against foreigners, and the presence of persons carrying guns at the Battle of Valmy--all these things had nothing to do with the French Revolution, and should be omitted. 

G. K. Chesterton, The Uses of Diversity: A Book of Essays

Question: Why are Americans such idiots about the Revolution? Case in point: http://dialogus2.org/ROB/lescheveuxdemarieantoinette.html *shudders* I wonder whether this is a case of insanity or just the usual drivel people spew at times...

And a note, regarding the American History and Literature course I am forced to take: I hate Wilson. I hate Hoover. I hate Nathaniel fucking Hawthorne. This is, in case you hadn't guessed, because of their stances on the Revolution. Okay, so I would have hated Hoover and most probably Wilson in any case, but it certainly doesn't help, for example, that Wilson's favorite author was Burke. >:(

One last thing: does the following remind you of anything? (Well, aside from reactionary Britons.) "Robespierre, the Democrat leader, as was well known, hated England above all other countries, for her loyalty and her freedom..."

Okay, so I lied. Here's the last thing: don't read the introduction to Rousseau's Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes. It will mess with your mind.

....I'll stop babbling now, I promise. >__>

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)
Now for an article and a link which should have ranting, but don't because....they just don't. XD

Item One )

Item Two: I don't know how many of you have seen the new and decidedly un-improved version of the Antoinette movie's website, but the production notes are truly frightening.....In related news, the one supposedly "authentic" piece of music there was written by Scarlatti, an Italian composer who died in 1725. Does anyone else think the odds of that being played in Versailles during Antoinette's stay there are just a *bit* low?

Next Post: The root of all that is wrong with American politics, brought to you by my ever-so-annoying-and-obviously-biased AP US History class, and my review of Manon, as performed this past Saturday evening at the LA Opera (including rant about alternate stagings and how they never show my favorite operas--or they show them at times and in places there is no way I can possibly be).

(no subject)

Sunday, 30 October 2005 10:34
montagnarde1793: (Default)

There seems to be an odd proliferation of things to do with L'Autrichienne lately, but the French-English collaboration documentary (while it will obviously have a bias), should prove better than the Marie-Antoinette movie. (At least it covers the Revolution.) There's also a British documentary, but I don't know too much about that one (except it will be for L'Austrichienne, obviously).

They keep talking about how Marie-Antoinette has been mistreated by history! Sure, feel sorry for the rich queen. Why can't they make a pro-Maxime documentary or movie is what I want to know. They've managed to do it in print, why can't they do it in movies. (Although there is one notable exception--the French tv production from the 60s--you'd think they could make something a little bit more current and mainstream though.)

Sorry for the rant, but I had to post it someplace.

Additionally: three guesses as to my Halloween costume.

And: I need a better outlet! I need to finish my novel! I need to do my homework! *cries*

But: I did download some Simon and Garfunkel onto my iTunes, so life isn't complete crap.

What am I doing for Halloween?


montagnarde1793: (Default)

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