Does anyone know if this quote is
1) historical of fictional (Büchner's) . If real when it was pronounced?
2) If it's real, is it Saint-Just's or Barère's?
"Une nation ne se regénère que sur des monceaux de cadavre."
And what about his one? Is its only source a Thermidorian satirical play, again? The one in which it's attributed, as maelicia has found out, to a mysterious friend of Saint-Just?
Because it is often attributed to Saint-Just, too. It's astonishing; as if Saint-Just hadn't left to posterity enough gory quotes, the anti-revolutionary propagandists must invent new ones :D
Well, that's not serious historiography at all. According to George Henry Lewes, Vilate contributes the first quote to Barère and the second one to Saint-Just and they are supposed to have said it at a private dinner during Marie-Antoinette's process. Has anyone read Vilate? So, did Barère say his bloody quote in the Convention or at a dinner with his CPS buddies? Did he say it at all? Oh dear.
Thanks for help!
I'm just stopping by to highly recommend the works of the historian Olivier Blanc, whose book Les hommes de Londres: Histoire secrète de la Terreur I'm in the process of reading. In this particular book, which has unfortunately not been translated into English (nor is it available for sale anywhere on the internet that I could find, despite its having come out in 1989!) Blanc makes a rather convincing argument for Barère's having been an agent paid by Pitt to undermine the Republic. I know that may sound on the paranoid side, but he has truckloads of documentation to prove it.
In any case, I believe the only books of Blanc's that have been translated into English are a book on 18th century architecture, which of course is not strictly related to the Revolution, and one called La dernière lettre: Prisons et condamnés de la Révolution, 1793-1793 and translated somewhat loosely as Last Letters: Prisons and Prisoners of the French Revolution, 1793-1794. I've only read excerpts from it, but from what I've read it seems worth recommending, especially as it's prefaced by Michel Vovelle.
From that particular book, I even have a picture for you, which you may not have seen before. (I know I hadn't.)
In case you can't read the caption - admittedly, it is a bit fuzzy - it says "Lucille Duplessis Epouse de Camille Desmoulins" or "Lucille Duplessis, wife of Camille Desmoulins."
My translation of Blanc's caption is, "'Good evening, my dear maman, a tear escapes from my eyes; it is for you. I am about to go to sleep in the calm of innocence.' Last note of Lucile Desmoulins, 13 April 1794. Writing and drawing (by Brune, the future marshal) conserved in the Historical Library of the City of Paris."
Also, on a completely unrelated note, read Timothy Tackett's Becoming a Revolutionary: The Deputies of the National Assembly and the Origins of the French Revolution. It is made of win.
Some articles were updated with new portraits (like the ones of Billaud-Varenne and Hérault de Séchelles).
Some of those portraits sort of frighten me, because suddenly, for once... those men look so real, a level of realism the simple engraving doesn't really have. They stop being just names I stumble on when reading.
So, minus the three robespierristes we already know quite well enough (well, unless you want their portraits too...? might get tough to settle for just one portrait for at least two of them, no? -_-):
( The Nine Other Members of the Committee of Public Safety: less known, less glamour, less cared about or hated Thermidorians. Depending on your point of view. All right, the evil and biased robespierriste I am shuts up now. )
Just in case that interests anyone, I amused myself with statistics. Here are how old the members of the CSP were in 1794 (which also happened to be the final age reached for four members in there -- let's not come back on this):
Couthon: 39 (would have been).
Prieur de la Marne: 38.
Hérault: 35 (would have been).
Prieur de la Côte d'Or: 31.
Saint-Just: 27 (would have been).
Which gives the CSP the average age of: 38,5 years old. Hm, I don't know if that's young or not for an "executive". I'm pretty sure it's younger than most executives we have in western countries right now though... Okay, so it's Saint-Just's fault: he considerably brings down the whole average. :P
Also, I was thinking of creating some French rev stuff on cafepress. What kind of designs would you like? I'm brainstorming ideas right now
Revolutionary Tribunal: executing swift justice
Don't loose your head