Category:Executed French women
Pages in category "Executed French women"
The following 35 pages are in this category, out of 35 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 35 pages are in this category, out of 35 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Henriette Anne Louise d'Aguesseau – Her mother died the day after she was born, on 13 February 1737. Her paternal grandfather Henri François dAguesseau was Chancellor of France three times between 1717 and 1750 and her mother died in childbirth, and after her father remarried, she was educated at the Convent of the Visitation at Saint-Denis, by Mme dHéricourt. His death in 1750 came as a shock to her. She had adored the courteous and attentive old gentleman, after the death of her grandfather, Henri François dAguesseau, she became an heiress. She was married to Jean-Paul-François de Noailles on 25 February 1755, the arranged marriage had been worked out by Adrien-Maurice, 3rd duc de Noailles, who had worked with Chancellor dAguesseau. She maintained a salon at the Hôtel de Noailles, the residence in Paris. She disapproved of the marriage of her daughter Adrienne with Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette. So after a delay while she managed their courtship, they were married at the Hôtel de Noailles. At the death of her father-in-law, Louis, 4th duc de Noailles, in May 1794, during the Reign of Terror, she was arrested at Hôtel de Noailles and imprisoned in Luxembourg Prison in Paris. Along with her mother-in-law, Catherine de Cossé-Brissac duchesse de Noailles and she was buried in a mass grave of Picpus Cemetery. The Château de la Grange-Bléneau passed from her grandfather, through her, to her daughter. Neil Jeffares, Pastellists, Genealogies Aguesseau planete-genealogie. fr Famille de Montagu, archivesnationales. culture. gouv. fr Genealogy CarneHenriette Anne Louise d'Aguesseau – Château de la Grange-Bléneau, her mother's ancestral home
2. Anne d'Arpajon – Anne dArpajon was a French aristocrat and dame dhonneur to Queens of France, Marie Leszczyńska and Marie Antoinette. She was called Madame Etiquette by Marie Antoinette for her insistence that no minutia of court etiquette ever be altered or disregarded and her mother, Anne Charlotte Le Bas de Montargis, was lady in waiting to the Duchess of Berry, daughter of the regent. Anne Claude married Philippe de Noailles, Duke of Mouchy, Captain of the Hunts at Versailles, Noailles was one of the leading families of France. In 1763, she was made dame dhonneur to queen Marie Leszczyńska and she met Marie Antoinette at the border, where she was a part of the French entourage, and was made responsible for her court and behaviour at Versailles. Marie Antoinette greatly disliked her, as she prevented her from doing things she liked with reference to court etiquette, and she gave her the name Madame Etiquette. In 1774, when Marie Antoinette became a queen, she fired the Countess of Noailles, prompting her to become a part of the opposition to the queen with the Kings aunts, Mesdames. Countess Anne and her husband Philippe were guillotined during the French Revolution on 27 June 1794, many of her relatives met the same fate. On 22 July 1794, the widow, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter of Philippes brother Louis, louiss other granddaughter, Adrienne, wife of the Marquis de Lafayette, was saved by the intervention of Americas Minister to France, James Monroe. They and the nobles who died at the guillotine are buried at Picpus Cemetery. Louise Henriette Charlotte Philippine de Noailles, charles Adrien de Noailles Prince of Poix. Louis Philippe de Noailles Prince of Poix, daniel François Marie de Noailles Marquis of Noailles, later Prince of Poix. Philippe de Noailles, Duke of Monchy, Louis Marie de Noailles, Viscount of Noailles. Anne dArpajon was played by Judy Davis in Marie Antoinette in 2006, and by Cora Witherspoon in Marie Antoinette in 1938Anne d'Arpajon – The Lady with the Mask, by Pierre Louis de Surugue (1746)
3. Madame du Barry – Jeanne Bécu, comtesse du Barry was the last Maîtresse-en-titre of Louis XV of France and one of the victims of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. Jeanne Bécu was born at Vaucouleurs, in the present-day Meuse department in Lorraine, France, as the daughter of Anne Bécu. Jeannes father was possibly Jean Baptiste Gormand de Vaubernier, a known as frère Ange. Little Jeanette was well liked by Dumonceauxs mistress Francesca, who pampered her in all luxury, dumonceaux funded Jeanettes education at the Couvent de Saint-Aure. At the age of fifteen, Jeanne left the convent, for she had come of age, for some reason – possibly due either to La Frédériques jealousy of the formers beauty or because Dumonceauxs passion for Anne revived – both mother and daughter were thrown out. They then moved into the small household of Annes husband. Jeanne had to some sort of income to help herself live. Later, Jeanne worked as a assistant in a haberdashery shop named À la Toilette, owned by Madame Labille. Labilles daughter, the famed painter Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, became a good friend of Jeanne. As reflected in art from the time, Jeanne was an attractive blonde woman with thick golden ringlets. Her beauty came to the attention of Jean-Baptiste du Barry, a high-class pimp/procurer nicknamed le roué, Du Barry owned a casino, and Jeanne came to his attention in 1763 when she was entertaining in Madame Quisnoys brothel-casino. She introduced herself as Jeanne Vaubernier, Du Barry installed her in his household and made her his mistress. As Mademoiselle Lange, Jeanne immediately became a sensation in Paris and she had many lovers from the kings ministers to his courtiers. The dashing yet old Maréchal de Richelieu became one of her recurring lovers, because of this, Jean du Barry saw her as a means of influence over Louis XV, who became aware of her in 1768 while she was on an errand at Versailles. The errand involved the duc de Choiseul, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in any case, Jeanne could not qualify as a maîtresse-en-titre unless she had a title, this was solved by her marriage on 1 September 1768 to du Barrys brother, Comte Guillaume du Barry. The marriage ceremony included a false birth certificate created by Jean du Barry himself, Jeanne was now installed above the Kings quarters in Lebels former rooms. She lived a life, unable to be seen with the King since no formal presentation had taken place as yet. Comte du Barry constantly pestered Jeanne and urged her to speak of presentation with the king, Louis XV, in turn, asked her to find a proper sponsor to be able to have oneMadame du Barry – Madame du Barry by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1781
4. Madame de Brinvilliers – Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite dAubray, Marquise de Brinvilliers was a French aristocrat accused of three murders. She was convicted on the strength of letters written by her dead lover and her alleged accomplice Sainte-Croix had died of natural causes in 1672, so could not be charged. There were also rumours that Brinvilliers had poisoned poor people during her visits to hospitals, in 1675, on being accused, Brinvilliers fled to England, the Netherlands, and finally a convent near Liège, where she was arrested by a policeman pretending to be a priest. On 17 July 1676, she was tortured with the water cure and she was then beheaded, and her body was burned at the stake. Her trial and the scandal which followed it launched the Affair of the Poisons, robert Brownings 1846 poem The Laboratory imagines an incident in her life. Her capture and burning is mentioned in The Oracle Glass by Judith Merkle Riley, also the poisoning of the poor is echoed by the character, Genevieves. The plot of the novel The Burning Court by John Dickson Carr concerns a murder that appears to be the work of the ghost of Marie dAubray Brinvilliers, there have been two musical treatments of her life. A musical comedy called Mimi - A Poisoners Comedy written by Allen Cole, Melody A. Johnson, the Sailor Moon musical Kessen / Transylvania no Mori, included a character known as De Brinvilliers-sensei. She was a vampire who posed as a teacher who tested her students about various poisons. Margarita Blankenheim, a based on the Vocaloid Hatsune Miku, was based after the woman. A song sung by Hatsune Miku known as Gift from the Princess who Brought Sleep describes Margaritas actions, attribution Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Brinvilliers, Marie Madeleine Marguerite dAubray, Marquise de. Wood, James, ed. Brinvilliers, Marquise de, london and New York, Frederick Warne. Anne Somerset - The Affair of the Poisons, Murder, Infanticide, and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIVMadame de Brinvilliers – Marie Madeleine Marguerite d'Aubray, Marquise de Brinvilliers, 1676, after her imprisonment, portrait by Charles Le Brun.
5. Charlotte Corday – Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday dArmont, known as Charlotte Corday, was a figure of the French Revolution. Marat had played a role in the political purge of the Girondins. His murder was memorialized in the painting The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David, in 1847, writer Alphonse de Lamartine gave Corday the posthumous nickname lange de lassassinat. Born in Saint-Saturnin-des-Ligneries, a hamlet in the commune of Écorches, in Normandy and she was a fifth-generation matrilineal descendant of the dramatist Pierre Corneille. While Corday was a girl, her older sister and their mother, Charlotte Marie Jacqueline Gaultier de Mesnival. After 1791, she lived in Caen with her cousin, Madame Le Coustellier de Bretteville-Gouville, the two developed a close relationship, and Corday was the sole heir to her cousins estate. After the revolution radicalized further and headed towards terror, Charlotte Corday began to sympathize with the Girondins and she admired their speeches and grew fond of many of the Girondist groups whom she met while living in Caen. She respected the principles of the Girondins and came to align herself with their thinking. She regarded them as a movement that would ultimately save France, the Gironde represented a more moderate approach to the revolution and they, like Corday, were skeptical about the direction the revolution was taking. The opposition to this thinking, coupled with the influence of the Gironde, ultimately led Corday to carry out her plan to murder the most radical of them all. Cordays action aided in restructuring the private versus public role of the woman in society at the time, the idea of women as worthless beings was challenged, and Corday was considered a hero to those who were against the teachings of Marat. There have been suggestions that her act incited the banning of political clubs. The influence of Girondin ideas on Corday is evident in her words at her trial, I have killed one man to save a hundred thousand. As the revolution progressed, the Girondins had become progressively more opposed to the radical, violent propositions of the Montagnards such as Marat, Jean-Paul Marat was a member of the radical Jacobin faction which had a leading role during the Reign of Terror. As a journalist, he exerted power and influence through his newspaper, Cordays decision to kill Marat was stimulated not only by her revulsion at the September Massacres, for which she held Marat responsible, but by her fear of an all-out civil war. She believed that Marat was threatening the Republic, and that his death would end violence throughout the nation and she also believed that King Louis XVI should not have been executed. Corday believed in a structure like that of Ancient Greece or Rome, on 9 July 1793, Corday left her cousin, carrying a copy of Plutarchs Parallel Lives, and went to Paris, where she took a room at the Hôtel de Providence. She bought a knife with a six-inch bladeCharlotte Corday – Corday's birth house in Normandy
6. Lucile Duplessis – Anne Lucile Philippe Laridon Duplessis was the wife of the French revolutionary and journalist Camille Desmoulins. She was the daughter of Claude Etienne Laridon Duplessis, an official of the French Treasury and her sister, Adèle Duplessis, was briefly engaged to Maximilien Robespierre. Though she would eventually marry Camille Desmoulins, the two first met when she was younger and he was an admirer of her mother. She was headstrong and when she fell in love with Camille, ten years her senior, in one of her journals, Lucile talks about what happened on Bastille Day. Camille, O my poor Camille, what will become of you, O God, if it be true that thou hast existence, save the men who are worthy of Thee. As a climax to my misery, courage abandons me and her father finally agreed to allow Camille to marry her on December 29,1790, at the Church of Saint Sulpice in Paris. Signatories to their marriage included Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve, Jacques Pierre Brissot, the Desmoulinss only child, Horace Camille, was born July 6,1792. On April 5,1794, Lucile Desmoulins was arrested on charges that she had conspired to free her husband, Camille Desmoulins was executed on the same day Lucile was arrested, and Lucile followed him to the guillotine on April 13,1794. She is reported to have remarked, while awaiting her execution, if I did not hate them for that, I should bless them for the service they have done me this day. Following the deaths of his parents, Horace Camille Desmoulins was raised by Luciles mother and sister and he migrated to Haiti in 1817, and died there in 1825. Camille Desmoulins and His Wife, Passages from the History of the Dantonists, london, Smith, Elder, & Co.1876. She appears prominently in A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary MantelLucile Duplessis – Lucile Duplessis
7. Saint Faith – Saint Faith or Saint Faith of Conques is a saint who is said to have been a girl or young woman of Agen in Aquitaine. Her legend recounts how she was arrested during persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire, Saint Faith was tortured to death with a red-hot brazier. Her death is said to have occurred in the year 287 or 290. She is listed as Sainte Foy, Virgin and Martyr, in the martyrologies, the center of her veneration was transferred to the Abbey of Sainte-Foy, Conques, where her relics arrived in the ninth century, stolen from Agen by a monk from the Abbey nearby at Conques. A number of legends grew up about her, and she was confused with the three legendary sisters known as Faith, Hope, and Charity. She is recorded in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum under October 6, a Passio, now lost, once existed, and appears in summarized form in the ninth-century martyrology of Florus of Lyon. Her legends portray her as a patron who could turn against those who only gave small donations to her church at Conques, one such joke was the following story, a local castellan holds onto a ring that his dying wife had promised to the saint. The castellan, whose name is Austrin, uses the ring, however, Saint Faith causes the finger of the second wife to swell up in unbearable pain. During the 12th century, Faiths cult was fused with that of Caprasius of Agen and Alberta of Agen, Caprasius cult in turn was also fused with that of Primus and Felician, who are called Caprasius brothers. One legend states that during the persecutions of Christians by the prefect Dacian, Caprasius fled to Mont-Saint-Vincent and he witnessed the execution of Faith from atop the hill. Caprasius was condemned to death, and was joined on his way to execution by Alberta, Faiths sister, and two brothers, named Primus and Felician. In the fifth century, Dulcitius, bishop of Agen, ordered the construction of a dedicated to her, later restored in the 8th century. It was demolished in 1892 due to a planning effort at Agen. However, the center of her cult was not the basilica, in the year 866, her remains had been transferred to Conques, which was along the pilgrimage route to Compostela. Her cult, centered at the Abbatiale Sainte-Foy de Conques, spread along the routes on the Way of St. James—and beyond, for her cult became popular in England, Italy. The gilded reliquary at Conques was described in Bernard of Angerss Book of Miracles of Sainte Foi and it has since been repeatedly adapted and enriched, into the nineteenth century. The head itself, made of a different gold from the body—which is fashioned of thin plates over a yew wood—has been tentatively identified as a portrait of the Later Roman Empire. Thomas Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has theorized that the life-size golden face is a portrait or death mask of CharlemagneSaint Faith – Medieval depiction of the martyrdom of St. Faith
8. Olympe de Gouges – Olympe de Gouges, born Marie Gouze, was a French playwright and political activist whose feminist and abolitionist writings reached a large audience. She began her career as a playwright in the early 1780s, as political tension rose in France, Olympe de Gouges became increasingly politically engaged. She became an advocate for improving the condition of slaves in the colonies of 1788. At the same time, she began writing political pamphlets, today she is perhaps best known as an early feminist who demanded that French women be given the same rights as French men. In her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, she challenged the practice of male authority and she was executed by guillotine during the Reign of Terror for attacking the regime of the Revolutionary government and for her close relation with the Girondists. Marie Gouze was born into a bourgeois family in 1748 in Montauban, Quercy. In 1765 she married Louis Aubry, a caterer, who came from Paris with the new Intendant of the town and this was not a marriage of love. Gouze said in a novel, I was married to a man I did not love. I was sacrificed for no reason that could make up for the repugnance I felt for this man and her husband died a year later, and in 1770 she moved to Paris with her son, Pierre, and took the name of Olympe de Gouges. In 1773, according to her biographer Olivier Blanc, she met a man, Jacques Biétrix de Rozières. She was received in the artistic and philosophical salons, where she met many writers, including La Harpe, Mercier and she usually was invited to the salons of Madame de Montesson and the Comtesse de Beauharnais, who also were playwrights. She also was associated with Masonic Lodges among them, the Loge des Neuf Sœurs that was created by her friend Michel de Cubières, in 1784, she wrote the anti-slavery play Zamore and Mirza. For several reasons, the play was not performed until 1789, De Gouges published it, however, as Zamore et Mirza, ou lheureux naufrage in 1788. It was performed as LEsclavage des nègres in December 1789, subsequently, it was published in 1792 under the title LEsclavage des noirs. She also wrote on such gender-related topics as the right of divorce, as an epilogue to the 1788 version of her play Zamore et Mirza, she published Réflexions sur les hommes nègres. In 1790 she wrote a play, Le Marché des Noirs which was rejected by the Comédie Française, in 1808 the Abbé Grégoire included her on his list of the courageous people who pleaded the cause of les nègres. A passionate advocate of human rights, Olympe de Gouges greeted the outbreak of the Revolution with hope and joy, in 1791, she became part of the Society of the Friends of Truth, an association with the goal of equal political and legal rights for women. Also called the Social Club, members sometimes gathered at the home of the womens rights advocateOlympe de Gouges – Olympe de Gouges
9. Joan of Arc – Joan of Arc, nicknamed The Maid of Orléans, is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years War and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. Joan of Arc was born to Jacques dArc and Isabelle Romée, the uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted nine days later. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VIIs coronation at Reims and this long-awaited event boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory. On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian faction and she was later handed over to the English and put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges. After Cauchon declared her guilty she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, in 1456, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, debunked the charges against her, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. In the 16th century she became a symbol of the Catholic League and she was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. Cultural depictions of her have continued in films, theater, television, video games, music, the Hundred Years War had begun in 1337 as an inheritance dispute over the French throne, interspersed with occasional periods of relative peace. Nearly all the fighting had taken place in France, and the English armys use of chevauchée tactics had devastated the economy, the French population had not recovered to its size previous to the Black Death of the mid-14th century, and its merchants were isolated from foreign markets. Prior to the appearance of Joan of Arc, the English had nearly achieved their goal of a monarchy under English control. In the words of DeVries, The kingdom of France was not even a shadow of its thirteenth-century prototype, the French king at the time of Joans birth, Charles VI, suffered from bouts of insanity and was often unable to rule. The kings brother Louis, Duke of Orléans, and the kings cousin John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, quarreled over the regency of France and the guardianship of the royal children. This dispute included accusations that Louis was having an affair with the queen, Isabeau of Bavaria. The conflict climaxed with the assassination of the Duke of Orléans in 1407 on the orders of the Duke of Burgundy, the young Charles of Orléans succeeded his father as duke and was placed in the custody of his father-in-law, the Count of Armagnac. Their faction became known as the Armagnac faction, and the party led by the Duke of Burgundy was called the Burgundian faction. In 1418 Paris was taken by the Burgundians, who massacred the Count of Armagnac, the future French king, Charles VII, assumed the title of Dauphin—the heir to the throne—at the age of fourteen, after all four of his older brothers had died in succession. His first significant official act was to conclude a treaty with the Duke of Burgundy in 1419. This ended in disaster when Armagnac partisans assassinated John the Fearless during a meeting under Charless guarantee of protection, the new duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, blamed Charles for the murder and entered into an alliance with the EnglishJoan of Arc – Painting, c. 1485. An artist's interpretation, since the only known direct portrait has not survived. (Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Paris, AE II 2490)
10. Marie Antoinette – Marie Antoinette (/ˈmæriˌæntwəˈnɛt/, /ˌɑ̃ːntwə-/, /ˌɑ̃ːtwə-/, US /məˈriː-/, French, born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, was the last Queen of France and Navarre before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria, and was the fifteenth and second youngest child of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, in April 1770, upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne, she became Dauphine of France. After eight years of marriage, Marie Antoinette gave birth to a daughter, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte, the Diamond Necklace affair damaged her reputation further. On 10 August 1792, the attack on the Tuileries forced the family to take refuge at the Assembly. On 21 September 1792, the monarchy was abolished, after a two-day trial begun on 14 October 1793, Marie Antoinette was convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason, and executed by guillotine on Place de la Révolution on 16 October 1793. Maria Antonia was born on 2 November 1755, at the Hofburg Palace and she was the youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa, ruler of the Habsburg Empire, and her husband Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. Her godparents were Joseph I and Mariana Victoria, King and Queen of Portugal, Archduke Joseph, shortly after her birth, she was placed under the care of the Governess of the Imperial children, Countess von Brandeis. Maria Antonia was raised with her older sister Maria Carolina. As to her relationship with her mother, it was difficult, despite the private tutoring she received, results of her schooling were less than satisfactory. At the age of ten she could not write correctly in German or in any language used at court, such as French. Under the teaching of Christoph Willibald Gluck, Maria Antonia developed into a good musician and she learned to play the harp, the harpsichord and the flute. During the familys gatherings in the evenings, she would sing and she also excelled at dancing, had an exquisite poise, and loved dolls. Following the Seven Years War and the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756, Empress Maria Theresa decided to end hostilities with her longtime enemy, on 14 May she met her husband at the edge of the forest of Compiègne. Upon her arrival in France, she adopted the French version of her name, a further ceremonial wedding took place on 16 May 1770 in the Palace of Versailles and, after the festivities, the day ended with the ritual bedding. The lack of consummation of the marriage plagued the reputation of both Louis-Auguste and Marie Antoinette for the seven years. The initial reaction to the marriage between Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste was mixed, on the one hand, the Dauphine was beautiful, personable and well-liked by the common people. Her first official appearance in Paris on 8 June 1773 was a resounding success, on the other hand, those opposed to the alliance with Austria, and others, for personal reasons, had a difficult relationship with Marie Antoinette. Madame du Barry, for example, was Louis XVs mistress and had political influence over himMarie Antoinette – Marie Antoinette with the Rose Portrait by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1783.
11. Regina (martyr) – Saint Regina was a virgin martyr and saint of the Catholic Church. Regina was born in Autun, France, to a pagan named Clement and her mother died at her birth and her father repudiated her. She then went to live with a Christian nurse who baptized her, Regina helped out by tending the sheep. She communed with God in prayer and meditated on the lives of the saints and her martyrdom is considered to have occurred either during the persecution of Decius, in 251, or under Maximian in 286. Honored in many Martyrologies, Reginas feast is celebrated on 7 September or in the Archdiocese of Paderborn on 20 June, in the past, a procession was held in her honor in the town of Dijon. However, her relics were transferred to Flavigny Abbey in 827, the history of the translation of Regina was the subject of a 9th-century account. There are many places in France named Sainte-Reine after her and this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Wood, James, ed. article name needed. London and New York, Frederick WarneRegina (martyr) – Statue of St. Regina at church dedicated to her at Drensteinfurt.
12. Madame Roland – She fell out of favour during the Reign of Terror and died on the guillotine. Madame Roland, born Marie-Jeanne Phlippon, the surviving child of eight pregnancies, was born to Gratien Phlippon. From her early years she was a successful, enthusiastic, in her youth she studied literature, music and drawing. From the beginning she was strong willed and frequently challenged her father, enthusiastically supporting her education, Jeannes parents enrolled her in the convent school of the Sisterhood of the Congregation in Paris - for one year only. She was enthusiastically religious, leading John Abbott to state God thus became in Janes mind a vision of poetic beauty, several literary figures influenced Rolands philosophy, including Voltaire, Montesquieu, Plutarch, and others. Manon Phlippon also, as she traveled, developed an awareness of the outside world. Ah but we are going to be happy, in the winter of 1780, Manon Phlippon married the philosopher Jean-Marie Roland de la Platière. She collaborated on a number of M. Rolands works, the Dictionnaire des Manufactures, Arts et Métiers, and her most significant influence flowed through her husbands political writings. Nevertheless, attempting to conform to Rousseaus model of femininity, she also carefully restricted herself well within the limits of a domestic function. Thus, with him and through him, she proved both powerful and influential in the era of the French Revolution, in 1784, she obtained a promotion for her husband which transferred him to Lyon, where she began building her network of friends and associates. In Lyon, the Rolands began to express their support for the revolution through letters to the journal Patriote Français. Their voice was noticed and in November 1790, Jean-Marie was elected to represent Lyon in Paris, when the couple moved from Lyon to Paris in 1791, she began to take an even more active role. Her salon at the Hotel Britannique in Paris became the rendezvous of Brissot, Pétion, Robespierre, an especially esteemed guest was Buzot, whom she loved with platonic enthusiasm. In person, Madame Roland is said to have been attractive but not beautiful, her ideas were clear and far-reaching, her manner calm, and her power of observation extremely acute. Madame Roland’s ability to weave social networks fed the Rolands growing popularity and it was through Manon that one gained access to the inner circle of the growing Gironde. Inevitably, her activity placed her in the centre of political aspirations where she swayed a company of the most talented men of progress, as time went on she realised that she could tweak a number of her husband’s letters and still sign them in his name. M. Roland’s rise in politics and the Girondin faction subsequently improved Madame Roland’s influence, in maintenance of her feminist beliefs she never spoke during formal meetings. Instead she listened intently at her desk, taking notes, thus educating herself on political matters, independently, M. Roland performed sufficiently in his duties as a minister, possessing reasonable knowledge, activity, and integrityMadame Roland – Plaster bust by Vital Cornu
13. Violette Szabo – Violette Reine Elizabeth Szabo GC was a French-born British Special Operations Executive agent during the Second World War and a posthumous recipient of the George Cross. On her second mission into occupied France, Szabo was captured by the German army, interrogated, tortured and deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany, Violette Szabo was born Violette Reine Elizabeth Bushell in Paris on 26 June 1921. She was the child of five and the only daughter of Charles George Bushell. He was a taxi-driver, car salesman, and, during the Second World War and her mother, Reine Blanche Leroy, was a dressmaker originally from Pont-Remy, Somme. She was an active and lively girl, enjoying gymnastics, long-distance bicycling and she was regarded as a tomboy, especially as she was taught by her father to be a good shot. Violette attended school in Brixton, quickly relearning the English she had lost, at the age of fourteen, she went to work at a French corsetière in South Kensington and then at Woolworths in Oxford Street. Her home life was loving, though she often clashed with her strict father, the family, except her monolingual father, would often converse in French. At the outbreak of the Second World War, she was working at Le Bon Marché, a Brixton department store. In early 1940 Szabo joined the Womens Land Army and was sent to carry out strawberry picking in Fareham, Hampshire and they married at Aldershot Registry Office in Manor Park on 21 August 1940 after a whirlwind 42-day romance. Violette was 19, Étienne was 31 and they enjoyed a weeks honeymoon before Étienne set off from Liverpool to fight in the abortive Free French attack on Dakar, Senegal. From there, Étienne returned to South Africa before seeing action, again against the Vichy French, in the successful Anglo-Free French campaigns in Eritrea, after her marriage Violette became a switchboard operator for the General Post Office in central London, working throughout the Blitz. Bored by the job, she enlisted in the Auxiliary Territorial Service on 11 September 1941, after further training in Anglesey, Gunner Szabo and her unit were posted to Frodsham, Cheshire near Warrington, from December 1941 to February 1942. Violette found within weeks that she was pregnant, so she left the ATS to return to London for the birth, Szabo took a flat in Notting Hill, which was to be her home until she left for her second mission to France in June 1944. On 8 June 1942, she gave birth to Tania Damaris Desiree Szabo at St Marys Hospital, the following day, he took part in a valiant defence against the Afrika Korps, escaping with his battalion from the assault of the 15th Panzer Division on 10 June. Violette sent her baby to childminders while she worked at the South Morden aircraft factory where her father was stationed, during this period, she was informed of her husbands death in action. It was Étiennes death that made Violette accept an offer to train as an agent by the British Special Operations Executive as her best way of fighting the enemy that killed her husband. She would have invited to an interview regarding war work with a Mr. E. Potter, the alias of Selwyn Jepson, a detective novelist. Szabo was given security clearance on 1 July 1943 and selected for training as an agent on 10 JulyViolette Szabo – Violette Szabo c.1940s
14. La Voisin – Her purported cult was suspected to have killed anywhere between 1000-2500 people in Black Masses. Catherine Deshayes was married to Antoine Monvoisin, a jeweller with a shop at Pont-Marie in Paris, after her husband was ruined, La Voisin started her career by practising chiromancy and face-reading to support her family. She practiced medicine, especially midwifery, and performed abortions, as for her practice in fortune telling, she was to say that she developed the talent God had given her. She was taught the art of fortune telling at the age of nine and she studied the modern methods of physiology and reading the clients future by reading their faces and hands. She also spent a lot of money to provide an atmosphere which could make the more inclined to believe in the prophecies. For example, she acquired a special robe of crimson red velvet embroidered with eagles in gold for a price of 1,500 livres to perform in, initially, she told her clients that their will would be true if it was also the will of God. Then, she started to recommend to her clients some action that would make their dreams come true and these actions were initially to visit the church of some particular saint, eventually, she started to sell amulets and recommend magical practices of various kinds. The bones of toads, teeth of moles, Spanish flies, iron filings, human blood and mummy, finally, she started to sell aphrodisiacs to those who wished for people to fall in love with them, and poison to those who wished for someone to die. Her knowledge of poisons was not apparently so thorough as that of less well-known sorcerers, or it would be difficult to account for Louise de La Vallières immunity. The art of poisoning had become a science at the time, having been perfected, in part, by Giulia Tofana. She arranged black masses, where the clients could pray to the Devil to make their wishes come true. During at least some of these masses, a woman performed as an altar, upon which a bowl was placed, a baby was held above the bowl, La Voisin had many clients among the aristocracy and made a fortune from her business. La Voisin resided at Villeneuve-sur-Gravois, where she received her clients and she tended to her clients all day and entertained at parties with violin music in her gardens at night, attended by Parisian upper class society. The house also included a furnace for the bodies of dead babies and she regularly attended the services at the church of the Jansenist abbé de Sant-Amour, principal at the Paris University, and the godmother of her daughter was the noblewoman de la Roche-Guyon. At one point, Adam Lesage tried to induce her to kill her husband, La Voisin was interested in science and alchemy and financed several private projects and enterprises, some of them concocted by con artists who tried to swindle her. Privately, she suffered from alcoholism, was abused by Latour, and engaged in severe conflicts with her rival. The most important client of La Voisin was Madame de Montespan and their contact were often performed through the companion of Montespan, Claude de Vin des Œillets. In 1667, Montespan hired La Voisin to arrange a black mass and this mass was celebrated in a house in Rue de la TannerieLa Voisin – Catherine Deshayes, " La Voisin ", 17th-century print of her portrait held by a winged devil.