Saturday, July 04, 2009

[charlotte corday] murderess, feminist or heroine

Wiki says that under the Second Empire, Marat was seen as a revolutionary monster and Corday as a heroine of France, as represented in the wall-map. I admit to much preferring the 1860 painting by Paul Jacques Aimé Baudry.

To the upside-down and wrong-way-round question: 'Would Charlotte Corday have killed Jean-Paul Marat if the political motivation had been removed from the equation?' the answer must surely be: 'No, she would not have.'

Therefore, her action might be construed to be patriotic - in support of her country, killing a maniac who was urging everyone - and in particular, the Jacobins - on to bloodier and bloodier mayhem, from the safety of his printing press, playing on the populist reputatation he'd already built up.

Corday was obviously a thinking woman. Of the Girondin persuasion, she was pro-revolution, in the sense of the relief of the suffering of the poor and especially that of the oppression of women - and the coming Reign of Terror was to be quite misogynist in places - so much so that she'd brooded on all these things and on the rantings of this man Marat.

Thinking through her mind's eye, she'd just lived through the September Massacres, she'd have been well aware, from history, of the Massacre of the Huguenots and above all, she would have feared all out civil war. It was a quite political, dare we call it 'assassination', one which, unfortunately, added to the woes rather than nipped them in the bud.

Her claim, at her trial, was that: 'I killed one man to save 100,000," possibly a reference to Maximilien Robespierre's words before the execution of King Louis XVI. Of course, it cut no ice and she was guillotined by the Jacobin push who were turning on anyone not of their persuasion, beginning with the Girondins.

Truth is, if a man or group of men are absolutely determined to grab power for themselves - and I don't trust ANY revolutionary not to be like this - then nothing is going to stand in his/their way, nothing. It's not unlike the EU monster and its determination to ride rough-shod over the No-votes and protests and have us under its jackboot.

A sidelight to the whole matter was that the agents-provocateurs were certainly out in force and the Masonic element was well represented whenever the situation took a turn for the worse, especially at the time of the dechristianization, culminating in the placing of the prostitute on the altar of Notre-Dame.

This has always been the aim of Them, only in the revolution, it was more openly naked than usual.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree with you about the mentality of a group determined to grab power. I think Corday was a nutter and her action did her cause no good.
I think it was Lillian Hellman who said that "Good rebels make bad revolutionaries" because they don't like having to adhere to a party line or to be organised. So I'd rather be a rebel.

jams o donnell said...

I'm with Welschakes on this one, As fior revolutionaries, I would rather be a rebel too.

When revolutionarries get to pwoer they find whatmost other leaders find. To quote that excellent fount of aphorisms, Lord Acton:

Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely

mutleythedog said...

She looks kind cute though - I would share a cell with her any day... ahem.

James Higham said...

Welshcakes and Jams - with you also on this.

Mutley - good luck but watch out for any missing kitchen knives.

CherryPie said...

Seems I am in agreement with Welshcakes and Jams too.

Charlotte painting by said...

I totally agree with Welshcakes

James Higham said...

For what reason and in which respect, Charlotte?