history geeking ahoy

Charles Marville, photograph of the Rue Mondétour taken from the Rue Rambuteau (former Rue de la Chanverrerie), circa 1865. Another “about as close as we’re gonna get” image of the site of Hugo’s barricade. I think the high-res version has done the rounds on Tumblr before, but damn if I can find it, so here it is again.

Note the lighter horizontal band in the lower half of the picture–that’s not a crease or any other kind of damage. It’s a ghost… or more likely several ghosts. The widened Rue Rambuteau became a busy thoroughfare, and due to the long exposure time on the photograph, any passerby would’ve been reduced to a faint blur at head height.

anonymous asked:

Have you got any classic queer lit recommendations? (would prefer focusing on women, but watevs) I've read mlle de maupin and the girl with the golden eyes, loved them both, but I'm struggling to come up with more than that :(

Hmmm, let’s see! Focusing in on Romantic-era French lit here because that’s the closest thing I have to an area of expertise:

  • That Eugénie Danglars subplot in The Count of Monte Cristo is p. much Textual Lesbians All Over (and there are also some shenanigans with crossdressing bandits near the beginning), just make sure to pick up an unabridged edition because for mysterious unaccountable reasons it’s always one of the first things to be cut
  • I… haven’t actually read Balzac's Cousin Bette (or its male counterpart, Cousin Pons), but I’ve been assured on good authority that both of them are pretty fuckin’ gay
  • George Sand wrote a play, Gabriel, about a girl raised as a boy. The first act is played straight (no pun intended) according to the grand theatrical traditions of “male protag meets female protag while she’s in drag, falls for her anyway, freaks out, and then all is revealed and they’re happily married off.” The second act is an Into the Woods-style deconstruction where Gabriel(le)… um… doesn’t adjust very well to the role of ‘wife,’ and things go downhill from there. IDK if it’s available in English translation anywhere. :(
  • Sand's Lélia is kind of queer-adjacent–it is very much about the shit roles available for women, traditional marriage as a respectable form of prostitution, and the stunting of female desire in a culture where love is dominated by male violence and possession. The discussions of 'frigidity’ are mostly relevant to asexuality, but it was also scandalous at the time for some minor but very suggestive scenes between two sisters.
  • I feel kind of crass putting Gamiani on this list, because it’s terribad Evil Lesbians porn that Alfred de Musset 'anonymously’ wrote while he was on the outs with George Sand… but on the other hand the French Romantics writing RPF about each other will never not be entertaining.
  • Sylvia Townsend Warner's Summer Will Show was written in the 1930s but set during the revolution of 1848, and stars an independent but rather staid Englishwoman who moves to Paris and proceeds to fall in love with her husband’s mistress, a Jewish revolutionary half-actress half-strumpet wild child.
  • Okay fine I know it has absolutely fuckall to do with the French Romantics, but if you haven’t read The Well of Loneliness yet you should totally do it

That’s all I’ve got off the top of my head for female-centric lit (besides a couple of poems in Les Fleurs du Mal, “Lesbos” and “The Damned Women”). For textual male gay, the gold star recommendation will always be Balzac’s Vautrin trilogy, Old Goriot, Lost Illusions, and A Harlot High and Low–featuring the most magnificent bastard of them all, who has a taste for Faustian bargains with pretty young men. For not-all-that-subtextual male gay in prison, check out Hugo's Claude Gueux.

If you want androgyny and genderfuck the offerings are a little more obscure–there’s the aforementioned Gabriel, Balzac’s short stories Sarrasine (about a painter who falls for a castrato who’s living as a woman) and Séraphîta (which I have not read, but is apparently weird and philosophical in its approach to androgyny), and a poorly written but historically interesting novel by Henri de Latouche called Fragoletta, whose title character is intersex. The Balzac ones miiiight be available in English somewhere; Fragoletta isn’t easy to find even in French.

Also, if you’re interested in alienation-from-society angst and repression so thick it has to erase the actual subject of its anxiety and make it into a cipher, hoo boy have I got some stories to tell you about the 1820s Romantics. Nobody in these books is actually gay, but… well. The whole thing got set off when the Marquis de Custine broke off a promising engagement for reasons that looked completely inexplicable at the time. (Spoilers: he was flamingly gay. He wasn’t publicly outed until some years later, but man, he was gay as a sunny June morning.)

Keep reading

…before anyone gets too happy about the everybody-lives!AU potential of Charles Jeanne’s improbable survival story, I feel duty-bound to note that the retreat into the Corinthe and ensuing massacre were also based on the actual events of June 1832. Jeanne and his ten-man suicide charge were a tiny minority of the combatants; several dozen insurgents thought it was a better plan to retreat into the apartment building they’d been using as headquarters, using the stairwells as a sheltered position to pick off the assailants as they tried to come up. It wasn’t a bad plan, necessarily. The success of Jeanne’s charge was a fluke that caught even him by surprise, and the rest of the insurgents managed to hold the building for over an hour, gradually being driven further and further up the stairs. A bunch of them made it to the roof and parkoured their way to safety, so for them it turned out to be a pretty good plan. But the ones who stayed and fought to the bitter end eventually surrendered to the army, who agreed to take them into custody if they’d come quietly.

What happened next was disputed during the trial; there were definitely summary executions, some of them insurgents who’d been hiding in the residents’ apartments trying to avoid arrest, some of them insurgents who’d already surrendered. It’s also almost certain that the army and the National Guard were at loggerheads: the professional soldiers were trying to take prisoners, but the National Guard was a citizens’ militia made up of property-holders whose animosity towards the rebels was personal, vicious, and class-based. Hugo was cleaning up and romanticizing historical events considerably by giving Enjolras and Grantaire anything so dignified as a firing squad; there were reports of captured insurgents being messily stabbed to death with bayonets, left to die of gut wounds, or pitched out of fourth-floor windows by guardsmen making “heads or tails?” jokes about whether they’d hit the ground face-up or face-down. It was gruesome as hell, and unlike the Rue Transnonain massacre in a revolt two years later, the brutality was largely ignored outside the radical press because it was directed at actual combatants rather than civilians suspected of sheltering them.

So yeah. Charles Jeanne and half a dozen other crazy bastards miraculously survived their suicide-by-soldiers stunt, and you could totally use that incident as the basis for an everybody-lives AU. But unfortunately, that is not a term that could be used to describe the actual history of Saint-Merry and June 1832.

storytellerluna  asked:

I've just read through your translation of Charles Jeanne's letter to his sister from prison, and I just want to say WOW, and THANK YOU SO MUCH. Seriously, I have been looking for information about the actual June Rebellion, couldn't find much on Jeanne, and your blog is fantastic, merci beaucoup!!

You’re welcome!

You might also want to check out my website if you haven’t already–it has a bunch of other accounts of the June rebellion, as well as maps and pictures of pre-Haussmann Paris.

(Note to self: dear God, self, proofreading the OCR on your copy of Jeanne’s trial is not actually that much work. You should maybe finish it sometime in the next year. Also, weren’t you going to do something more interesting with all those Marville photos than just dump them wholesale on your website? Like oh, say, adding the relevant ones to the tour guide or something.)

AHEM. Anyway. Speaking of incredibly valuable primary sources, the transcript of Jeanne’s trial is long as balls and I haven’t been able to work myself up to translating even excerpts of it, but if any other bilingual or semi-bilingual fans want to take a crack at it, you’d be doing an immense public service–it’s the first primary source most historians turn to for details on the June 1832 revolt and AFAIK it’s never been translated into English. If accuracy is an issue, I’d be happy to proofread yours or advise you on the difficult spots. And, of course, I’d link the hell out of it from this blog.

Resource post: early 19th century French currency

Or: More about French currency than you EVER wanted to know.

The basics:
1 franc (= 1 livre) = 100 centimes.
1 sou = 1/20 of a franc = 5 centimes.
Special coins:
1 écu = 5 francs = 100 sous
1 louis d'or or gold Napoléon = 20 francs

Rule of thumb for exchange rates (relatively stable, since most countries were on the gold standard): one British pound sterling = 25 francs, one Spanish escudo = 10 francs, one American dollar = 5 francs, one Russian ruble = 4 francs (in Russian-occupied Poland, one zloty = 0.6 francs), one Prussian thaler = 3.75 francs.

Throughout the early 19th century in France, gold coins were minted in denominations of 40 and 20 francs, and silver coins in denominations of 5 francs, 2 francs, 1 franc, ½ franc (50 centimes), ¼ franc (25 centimes), and sometimes (in the Empire and early Restoration) 1/10 franc (the décime). Copper coins in denominations of 10, 5, and 1 centime were minted under the Consulate and continued to circulate all through the early 19th century.

The 5-franc coin was commonly called an écu, or sometimes a hundred-sou coin. 20-franc coins minted under the Empire were called gold Napoleons; under the Restoration and July Monarchy they were called louis d'or (gold louis). As far as I can tell, the 15-sou (75-centime) piece Cosette lost in the woods didn’t actually exist until the late 1840s.

Miscellaneous coin names:
- Marius’ grandfather sends him sixty pistoles every six months. The pistole wasn’t actually a French coin; it was a name for the Spanish écu, or escudo, worth 10 francs.
- Deniers, liards, etc: were part of the Ancien Régime currency system, and even after decimalization the names stayed in use, if only to figuratively designate a tiny amount. (The sou was actually also a linguistic relic of the old system, and wasn’t officially part of French decimal currency; people were used to calculating prices in terms of sous, and since a sou was conveniently worth 5 cents, it had more staying power as an exact value that was part of daily life.) Technically, a denier was 1/12 of a sou, or 1/240 of a franc, or a little under half a centime, and a liard was 3 deniers, or ¼ sou, or 1/80 (0.0125) franc, or one and a quarter centimes.

The Ancien Régime currency system:

Was roughly equivalent to the pre-decimalization British currency system, although the French versions were worth substantially less. The basic units were the livre (which was also the word for ‘pound’ as a unit of weight), the sou or sol (shilling), and the denier (penny). 12 deniers to a sou, 20 sous to a livre. So a liard was basically a thruppenny bit. Coins in multiples of a livre were issued under the names écu and louis (or louis d'or), but their values were often redefined over the centuries and the name 'louis’ could refer to assorted multiples of itself. Attempting to make sense of them is enough to make my head hurt, so unless you have to deal with higher-value coins in a fic set pre-1795, just stick to the post-decimalization values of louis and écu given above. As if that wasn’t bad enough, in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance there were two standards for the livre, the livre tournois and the livre parisis; the livre tournois, which eventually won out, was worth 4/5 of the livre parisis, which made for some fun conversions in accounting. (When is a shilling worth 15 pence? Oh, France.)

France switched to decimal currency in 1795. Generally, 1 livre = 1 franc, and the words were used more-or-less interchangeably, although the equivalences were a bit funky all through the Directory and the Consulate, and the minting of the new coins didn’t get underway until 1796. Some of the old coins stayed in circulation, apparently, well into the 19th century, but they would’ve become rarer and rarer as time went on.

Conversion to modern currency:

Basically, don’t even try it. The relative prices of various commodities were all different in the early 19th century: rent and services were cheap, food and durable goods like clothing were expensive. It’s nearly impossible to construct any kind of meaningful exchange rate. The closest I’ll come is to say that you can get an extremely rough estimate by considering an early 19th century franc to be worth somewhere between 10 and 20 modern British pounds.

anonymous asked:

Where would the students have learned to handle rifles? Holding professional regular soldiers at bay requires alot of skill with a flintlock musket.

They would almost certainly have had the opportunity to learn how to use long guns for hunting while growing up, and the ability to handle a pistol for dueling was an expected skill for young men of their social class. There were numerous firing ranges in Paris where they would’ve been able to keep in practice.

I don’t know if you were deliberately trying to draw a distinction between rifles and flintlock muskets, but there wasn’t as much of a disparity between the firearms used by the insurgents and their assailants as you might think: sure, the insurgents were working with a hodgepodge, but it was a hodgepodge with a large proportion of ‘borrowed’ military weapons, and the army’s guns weren’t all that advanced either. Reliable breech-loaders still hadn’t been perfected yet and wouldn’t start becoming regular infantry weapons until the 1840s, and percussion locks were a new invention that had only become standard issue for officers’ pistols in the past year or two. (Enjolras’ gun, described as a double-barrelled carabine de chasse, is probably more advanced than the infantry’s smoothbore muzzle-loaders: when it’s specified as being a hunting weapon, a carabine isn’t a short-barrelled cavalry carbine, it’s a rifle, which given the near impossibility of shoving a bullet down a rifled barrel means it’s probably an early model of a bolt-action firearm. These were popular for civilian use even if they weren’t reliable or practical enough for soldiers, so it’s not surprising one or two of the students seem to have one, especially since some of them appear to be weapons geeks.) Basically disparities in weaponry weren’t that huge to begin with, and had less of an impact on close-quarters urban warfare than disparities in supply lines and ammunition.

So yeah. Also bear in mind that they were holding a well-fortified position against a force made up partly of regular soldiers and partly of assorted citizens’ militias (Paris municipal guard, Paris national guard, national guard from the surrounding suburbs and countryside) who weren’t always particularly professional. The center of the actual 1832 revolt was a two-day battle of 60 against 60,000 that was only quashed when there was a major disparity in firepower, i.e. when the use of artillery against the insurgents was authorized.

Resource post: daily life before indoor plumbing

(Cross-posted from the Les Mis kinkmeme chatter post, where an anon wanted to know more about the mundane details of how people managed shit (literally and figuratively) without indoor plumbing in 19th-century France. Corrections are welcome if anyone has more detailed information.)

Water: can be hauled by hand by someone in the household if you’re poor or don’t need that much of it or are out in the country, but in places with any sort of population density, you can pay a water-carrier to supply you. Basically a guy driving around a cart with a giant tank of water on it, to avoid the hassle of everybody hauling it bucketful by bucketful from a public fountain/well/pond half a mile away. In Paris in the 1830s it was one sou per bucket (thanks for all your nitpicky details, Eugène Sue!). And here’s what Hugo has to say about Montfermeil:

“The large houses, the aristocracy, of which the Thenardier tavern formed a part, paid half a farthing a bucketful to a man who made a business of it, and who earned about eight sous a day in his enterprise of supplying Montfermeil with water; but this good man only worked until seven o'clock in the evening in summer, and five in winter; and night once come and the shutters on the ground floor once closed, he who had no water to drink went to fetch it for himself or did without it.”

(The coin Hapgood translates as “half a farthing” is a liard, or a quarter of a sou. That works out awkwardly to 1.25 centimes (1/80 of a franc) in decimal currency, which was adopted in 1795 and used continuously even through regime changes, but the base-12 coins from the Ancien Régime livre/sou/denier system were still in circulation and remained legal tender until the mid-19th century. MORE THAN YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT FRENCH CURRENCY.)

As for toilets, you used a chamberpot at night and then emptied it into the sewer (in the city) or latrine (in the country) later. Apartment buildings would also have a communal toilet–basically a seat with a hole in it that emptied into a waste pit, which was also used for dirty wash-water and kitchen refuse. In urban England city workers would come through and empty the pit at night for use as fertilizer, but I’m not sure about Paris; it might have been the responsibility of the building owner or, in practice, the concierge, to either empty household waste into the sewers or hire someone to do it. The actual setup of the waste pit varied from “hole in the ground” to “big pail” to more elaborate earth-closet systems as the state of sanitation progressed, but that’s only relevant to the tenants in terms of how stinky the Seat of Ease is. From their end, no matter what the underlying sanitation system, it’s still a non-portable Port-A-Potty.

Full-immersion bathing was incredibly labor intensive due to water-hauling, but people still got clean–pitcher, wash-basin, washcloth. If you could afford nice furniture you’d probably have a washstand to hold it all, maybe even a fancy lavabo system with a tap. (Basically a sink, except the water came from a small tank instead of being piped in, and the basin had to be emptied by hand.) Hair-washing was rare, though: you cleaned your hair by brushing it really thoroughly to get rid of dirt and excess oil, then you washed your hairbrush.

Queer history people, help me out?

I’m trying to draw up a masterpost of 19th-century French lit with queer, genderfucky, and/or asexual-relevant themes. Eventually I’ll do a big post with links to online versions and translations and Amazon pages for modern translations, but for now I’m just trying to compile the list. I’m most familiar with Romantic era, ca 1820s-1840s, but there’s a good chance I’ve missed stuff even in there, and once we get into Second Empire and beyond I’m hopeless. It’s directed at Les Mis fandom, so it doesn’t have to be comprehensive with the fin-de-siècle stuff, but it’d be nice to at least get up through Verlaine and Rimbaud. So please, give me recs?

Here’s what I have so far. The italicized ones I haven’t read yet and am going on hearsay.

Balzac: Le Père Goriot/Illusions Perdues/Splendeurs et Misères des Courtisanes (explicitly textual m/m), Le Cousin Pons (m/m), La Cousine Bette (f/f), La Fille aux yeux d'or (m/f/f triangle), Sarrasine (title character falls for a castrato living as a woman), Séraphîta (androgyny?)
Baudelaire: Les Fleurs du Mal (Femmes Damnées, Lesbos, any others?)
Constant: Adolphe (marginal, but relevant both to asexuality and to the “Olivier” family of novels)
Custine: Aloys ou le religieux du Mont-Saint-Bernard (“Olivier” family)
Dumas: Le Comte de Monte Cristo (explicitly textual f/f subplot, bonus assorted crossdressing)
Duras (Duchesse de): Olivier ou le secret (“Olivier” family)
Gautier: Mademoiselle de Maupin (title character is bisexual and genderqueer and gives everyone sexual-identity crises)
Hugo: Claude Gueux (m/m)
Latouche: Fragoletta (title character is intersex)
Musset (attrib): Gamiani ou deux nuits d'excès (lesbian porn), Lorenzaccio (m/m?)
Sand: Lélia (asexuality, one f/f scene), Gabriel (title character is female but raised as male)
Stendhal: Armance (“Olivier” family)

(* There’s complicated RL backstory behind the “Olivier” family, but they are all novels about a man who can’t marry his fiancée due to a terrible personal secret that’s never revealed. They’re weird and fascinating and can be interpreted in a bunch of different ways.)

I might be persuaded to get up a nonfiction section if I can gather stuff beyond Canler, Vidocq, and Parent-Duchâtelet writing with varying degrees of condemnation about homosexuality in the underworld. If anyone has links for, say, correspondence between George Sand and Marie Dorval, bits of Sand’s autobiography, Fourier on Sapphism, non-fictionalized personal accounts of the Duras-Custine scandal or Custine’s subsequent outing, etc., I’m all ears.

Also considering tossing in a few 18th-century easter eggs. Definitely Thérèse Philosophe, and… I know Condorcet and a handful of the other philosophes wrote about sodomy (generally with a fairly tolerant outlook), but I don’t have references to specific works.

(P.S. Feel free to reblog and cast a wider net, if you like.)

Ahaha you know you’re a long way down the research rabbit hole when the name of the thing you’re searching for turns up zero search results that aren’t 19th-century Google Books

(Fun fact! There was a society circa 1831-1832 called the Société pour l'instruction libre et gratuite du peuple–the Society for the Free Education of the People–that was partly actual educational courses and partly a front for revolutionary activities. Hugo’s Friends of the ABC seem mostly based on the Société des Amis du Peuple, but it looks like their name might’ve been yoinked from this other society and embellished with a terrible pun.)

À cinq heures, nous serons tous morts

My copy finally arrived over the weekend! (Massive thanks to flo_nelja for hooking me up, you are amazing.) And omg I haven’t even gotten to the primary-source Charles Jeanne material and already I’m about ready to pee myself with excitement. The editor does an entire writeup of political unrest in the early days of the July Monarchy, with like… a summary of the major factions and players, a LIST ALL IN ONE PLACE of major riots and revolts from 1830-1832, a quick account of the 5/6 June insurrection and where and when things were happening, citations of press articles on the insurrection and the slow buildup of the Charles Jeanne legend, and FFS I’m only on page 17.


I am rolling luxuriously in research paydirt here. And I’ve only skimmed the appendices but THEY ARE AWESOME.

I have never found a source this custom-tailored to Les Mis fandom’s research needs, in other words. Also the entire preface is basically the author squeeing himself over how he thought this was a closed chapter in French history and he was pretty familiar with all the standard sources, and then a sixty-page letter from Charles Jeanne to his sister telling the whole story of his experiences on the barricades surfaced and IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER.

Basically, I know what I’m going to be typing up excerpts of for Barricade Day this year.

Hégésippe Moreau - Les 5 et 6 juin 1832: Chant funèbre

Ils sont tous morts, morts en héros,
Et le désespoir est sans armes ;
Du moins, en face des bourreaux
Ayons le courage des larmes !

Ces enfants qu’on croyait bercer
Avec le hochet tricolore
Disaient tout bas : il faut presser
L’avenir paresseux d’éclore :
Quoi ! nous retomberions vainqueurs
Dans le filets de l’esclavage !
Hélas ! pour foudroyer trois fleurs
Fallait-il donc trois jours d’orage ?

Ils sont tous morts, morts en héros,
Et le désespoir est sans armes ;
Du moins, en face des bourreaux
Ayons le courage des larmes !

Le peuple, ouvrant les yeux enfin,
Murmurait : On trahit ma cause ;
Un roi s’engraisse de ma faim
Au Louvre, que mon sang arrose ;
Moi, dont les pieds nus foulaient l’or,
Moi, dont la main brisait un trône,
Quand elle peut combattre encor,
Irai-je la tendre à l’aumône ?

Ils sont tous morts, morts en héros,
Et le désespoir est sans armes ;
Du moins, en face des bourreaux
Ayons le courage des larmes !

La liberté pleurait celui
Qu’elle inspira si bien naguère ;
Mais un fer sacrilège a lui,
Et l’ombre pousse un cri de guerre :
Guerre et mort aux profanateurs !
Sur eux le sang versé retombe,
Et les Français gladiateurs
S’égorgent devant une tombe.

Ils sont tous morts, morts en héros,
Et le désespoir est sans armes ;
Du moins, en face des bourreaux
Ayons le courage des larmes !

Alors le bataillon sacré
Surgit de la foule, et tout tremble ;
Mais contre eux Paris égaré
Leva ses milles bras ensemble.
On prêta, pour frapper leur sein,
Des poignards à la tyrannie,
Et les derniers coups du tocsin
N’ont sonné que leur agonie.

Ils sont tous morts, morts en héros,
Et le désespoir est sans armes ;
Du moins, en face des bourreaux
Ayons le courage des larmes !

Non, non, ils ne s’égaraient pas
Vers un avenir illusoire :
Ils ont prouvé par leur trépas
Qu’aux Décius on pouvait croire.
O ma patrie ! ô liberté !
Quel réveil, quand sur nos frontières
La République aurait jeté
Ce faisceau de troupes guerrières !

Ils sont tous morts, morts en héros,
Et le désespoir est sans armes ;
Du moins, en face des bourreaux
Ayons le courage des larmes !

Sous le dôme du Panthéon,
Vous qui rêviez au Capitole,
Enfants, que l’appel du canon
Fit bondir des bancs d’une école
Au toit qui reçut vos adieux
Que les douleurs seront amères,
Lorsque d’un triomphe odieux
Le bruit éveillera vos mères !

Ils sont tous morts, morts en héros,
Et le désespoir est sans armes ;
Du moins, en face des bourreaux
Ayons le courage des larmes !

On insulte à ce qui n’est plus,
Et moi seul j’ose vous défendre :
Ah ! si nous les avions vaincus,
Ceux qui crachent sur votre cendre,
Les lâches, ils viendraient, absous
Par leur défaite expiatoire,
Sur votre cercueil à genoux,
Demander grâce à la victoire.

Ils sont tous morts, morts en héros,
Et le désespoir est sans armes ;
Du moins, en face des bourreaux
Ayons le courage des larmes !

Martyrs, à vos hymnes mourants
Je prêtais une oreille avide ;
Vous périssiez, et dans vos rangs
La place d’un frère était vide.
Mais nous ne formions qu’un concert,
Et nous chantions tous la patrie,
Moi sur la couche de Gilbert,
Vous sur l’échaffaud de Borie.

Ils sont tous morts, morts en héros,
Et le désespoir est sans armes ;
Du moins, en face des bourreaux
Ayons le courage des larmes !

So, remember the keysmashing I was doing several weeks ago over al-Tahtawi’s 1820s Paris travelogue? I’m in the middle of it right now! It’s excellent and one of these days I will have to type up the very useful breakdown of the educational institutions in Paris at the time, but in the meantime, have an anecdote that made me snort aloud in the middle of an otherwise dry section on French food and drink customs:

One day, it happened that as I was walking along a street in Paris a drunk shouted at me, “Hey, you Turk!”, and grabbed me by my clothes. I was near a confectionery shop, so I entered with him and sat him down on a chair. I then jokingly said to the proprietor of the shop, “Would you like to buy this man for some sweets or candied nuts?” To which the owner replied, “Here things are not like in your country where you can dispose of the human species at your will.” My only retort to this was that I said, “In his current state, this drunken person is not part of the human race.” All of this took place while the man was sitting down on his chair, oblivious to everything that was going on around him. I left him in that shop and went on my way.

obscurecaconym replied to your post: Representations of the June Rebellion before Les Misérables

Wait what I caught the name George Sands while I was pretending to read French. What was Sands doing during the June Rebellion?

She was living in Paris on the Ile Saint-Louis, directly across the river from the morgue, and saw the bodies being carted in. The quote is from a letter she wrote to Laure Decerfz that I’ve actually translated on my website, so I can just copy/paste:

“For the party men there are only assassins and victims. They don’t understand that they are all victims and assassins in their turn. And yet it is a horrible thing to see blood shed! To discover a red furrow in the Seine beneath the morgue, to see them spread the straw that barely covers a heavy cart, and to glimpse beneath this crude packaging twenty or thirty bodies, some in black coats, others in corduroy jackets, all torn, mutilated, blackened by powder, filthy with mud and dried blood. To hear the cries of the women who recognize their husbands there, their children, all of that is horrible; but more horrible still is to see the end that awaits the fugitive who escapes half-dead while asking for mercy, to hear under your window the groans of the wounded man whom it is forbidden to save and who is condemned by thirty bayonets. There were horrible, ferocious episodes on both sides. […] My poor [daughter] Solange was on the balcony, watching all that, listening to the gunfire and not understanding.”

Wee foretaste of the Charles Jeanne intro

Major insurrections of the early July Monarchy:

- End of 1830 (at the trial of Charles X’s ministers; culminated in a mass trial of the rebels in April 1831)
- February 1831 (anticlerical riots; church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois sacked)
- September 1831 (after the fall of Warsaw to Russia)
- November-December 1831 (Canut rebellion in Lyon)
- Conspiracy of the Rue des Prouvaires, February 1832 (an ultraroyalist plot that somehow involved kidnapping the royal family?!)
- 5 and 6 June 1832