[identity profile] camille-love.livejournal.com
Hello all,

I was doing some work in a local coffee shop earlier this afternoon, where I met another scholar who struck up a conversation with me. When he learned of my research interests in literary representations of the Revolution, he referred me to this passage in Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee of which I was unaware, having never read the book:

There were two " Reigns of Terror," if we would but remember it and consider it; the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon ten thousand persons, the other upon a hundred millions; but our shudders are all for the " horrors " of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the axe, compared with life-long death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty and heart-break? What is swift death by lightning compared with death by slow fire at the stake? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror which we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror—that unspeakably bitter and awful Terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves.

Interesting. I don’t know much about Twain (or American literature in general), but I also found this quote:

When I finished Carlyle's French Revolution in 1871, I was a Girondin; every time I have read it since, I have read it differently – being influenced and changed, little by little, by life and environment ... and now I lay the book down once more, and recognize that I am a Sansculotte! – And not a pale, characterless Sansculotte, but a Marat.

Perhaps you guys are already familiar with this (the basic idea expressed by Twain is obviously nothing new), but I thought it was cool and wanted to share.
[identity profile] fromrequired.livejournal.com
 I don't have much knowledge about the French Revolution (as you can tell by looking at my userpic, I'm more of a WWII fangirl) but I'm greatly interested in it. 

So in my AP Euro History class, we had to watch this documentary about the French Revolution. I'll post a part of it below:Read more )
[identity profile] amie-de-rimbaud.livejournal.com
I've been wondering:  what happened to all those bodies sans têtes? I assume--I'm sure I've read--about mass graves, but does anyone know where they are exactly? Down in the catacombs of Paris (which I've still not visited, sadly) would be my guess, but I didn't know for sure. I have a feeling this is common knowledge, so I apologize for asking a possibly silly question.

Also, was anything special done with the bodies of remarkable victims--Louis, or the Girondins--to ensure that followers didn't try to memorialize them in any way, or--creepiness alert--steal body parts to save as relics? Did they drive a stake through Maxime's heart to make sure he wouldn't rise from the dead? (I'm kidding) But I'd love to hear any fantastic stories of this nature.
[identity profile] asako-michiru.livejournal.com
Yep, I'm new, and nearly imploding from joy at finding this community. =) I love the French Revolution, and hero-worship Robespierre, whom I've been drawn to more and more since I first studied him a year ago in my tenth grade history course. So, when in my recently passed Junior year, I was given the topic "Triumph and Tragedy" for my National History Day project I simply HAD to write about the Reign of Terror. I didn't make it passed regionals, which I think is because the judge of my paper didn't understand my points/the fact that I wrote it unlike how THEY would have, but I'm proud of this and put alot of effort into it and thought I'd share. I hope everyone enjoys it, even if they know almost everything in it, but I caution you that it is lengthy and my internal citations are left in due to sheer laziness on my part. :D

The Reign of Terror: The Tragedy Masking Triumph )
Feel free to add anything to this you'd like-- I enjoy learning more, and it is sort of sketchy due to word limit. :)
[identity profile] estellacat.livejournal.com

Okay, so this one isn't by a historian or a contemporary, and probably doesn't say anything that most of you don't already know, but I found this old comment from the forums of the website of les Amis de Robespierre, and I thought it just so nicely summed up the position that I--and others of you as well, I'm sure--take on the events of the Revolution and Robespierre's relation to and involvement in them. Sorry, I don't remember who wrote it exactly and I can't find it at present, but just know that the credit goes to that person, whoever they may be and I am only the translator.

[identity profile] tearosefury.livejournal.com
Well after two days of only taking 45min-1 hour breaks for eating, grocery store shopping and, yup that's it, I finally read all of David Andress's The Terror, which was assigned for my Modern Europe seminar, which happens to be all on France. It was quite good; more the classical narrative style than I expected, but, it was therefore plenty readable. I was surprised actually at how little unpleased I was with sitting for 3-5 hour stints of reading; I couldn't think of anything better to do, at least. But then again it was about *the Terror*, only my favorite topic in history after 1790s politics and the Enlightenment. The politics of the French Revolution are so insanley convulted, confusing and complicated that I think it's really a lifetime endeavor getting a grasp on all the characters, whose side they were at various points and why, not to mention all the various reasons, from political to purely personal, for factional infighting etc. And of course you've never heard every awful detail about how many horrible, horrible things happened; you're never fully done being shocked with the capacity of ideology and political fervor, just as much as religion or any other agent of human inspiration, to inspire the most casual cruelty and justify in the believer's mind actions which are in fact directly opposite to their most cherised ideals.

Imagine a world without the French Revolution? Amongst countless other things - basically modernity, a lot of people would claim - that wouldn't be the same or would never have developed, to me what stands out would be how much less we would know about the human condition, expierence, and our possible capabilities under certain situations and certain mindsets. Truely amazing. And, Andress' conclusion actually made me feeling sorry for Saint-Just, something that had never happened before.

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