Tag Archives: the French Revolution

today’s birthday Olympe de Gouges (1748)


Olympe de Gouges (1748)

Born Marie Gouze, de Gouges was a French author whose feminist writings during the French Revolution demanded the same rights for French women that French men were demanding. In 1791, alarmed that the new constitution did not address woman’s suffrage, she wrote Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, challenging the practice of male authority and the notion of male-female inequality. Why was she executed by guillotine during the Reign of Terror? More… Discuss

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Madame Tussauds


Madame Tussauds

A skilled wax sculptor, Marie Tussaud served as art tutor to Louis XVI’s sister until the French Revolution began. During the Reign of Terror, Tussaud made death masks from heads—often those of her friends—freshly severed by the guillotine. She moved to Britain with her collection of wax models, and, in 1835, established a museum that remains a principal tourist attraction, now known as Madame Tussauds. One of its main attractions is the Chamber of Horrors. What did it originally include? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Paul François Jean Nicolas, Vicomte de Barras (1755)


Paul François Jean Nicolas, Vicomte de Barras (1755)

Barras was a Provençal nobleman who became disenchanted with the royal regime and joined the French Revolution. When, after the fall of the monarchy, a war dictatorship replaced it, Barras played a key role in overthrowing Maximilien Robespierre and ending the Reign of Terror. Eventually given command of the army of the interior and the police, he suppressed a royalist uprising in 1795 by turning the troops over to a young officer in whose marriage he later played a role. Who was this officer? More… Discuss