Charlotte Corday, the angel of assassination

Just as the shower scene in « Psycho », the painting of Jean-Paul Marat stabbed in his bathtub on July 13 1793, by the painter David, is iconic. In the Hitchcock's movie, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), who stole money from her employer thinks that she is safe in her small motel, and indulges in a well deserved shower. Exactly as the leader of the radical revolutionaries who suffers from debilitating skin problems, is enjoying his bath.

 

 

The journalist by « L'ami du peuple »(the Friend of the People) who happens to be a doctor as well, works from his bathtub. Marat's wife does not allow the young Charlotte Corday to enter the master's bathroom in the morning. (I would not either). But when the young woman comes back in the evening and mentions a possible uprising by the Girondists, (the liberal branch of the revolutionaries) whom Marat, Robespierre, the radicals are fighting, he hears the conversation and lets her in.

A deadly mistake. Charlotte insists on being alone with him in order to give him names and suddenly she brandishes a butcher's knife from her blouse and stabs him to death, just as in the Hitchcock's movie. Except Charlotte Corday is not crazy. She has come all the way from Caen to kill him. The 25 year old girl comes from a family of poor aristocrats in Normandy, who joined the Revolution but hates the extreme violence that has been the result. After the September massacre in 1792, whom she holds Marat and his friends, the « Jacobins » responsible for, and fearing civil war, she hopes her gesture will put an end to violence. « I killed one man to save a hundred thousand », she says, quoting ironically Robespierre argument to execute Louis XVI under the guillotine.

 

She was going to die in the same fashion, except the guillotine needed to be serviced and her cheek was slapped first.

 

Unfortunately, her gesture did not stop violence, quite the contrary. Marat became a martyr and terror became even more normal.

 

If you want to know who Charlotte Corday, a descendent of the dramatist Pierre Corneille, was, I recommend that you attend on 13 June at 3pm a conference by a good friend of mine, Liesel Couvreur Schiffer,

 

a historian and a writer, in Normandy, in the Chapel, near Falaise where the young girl used to pray.

It is also possible to stay at the manor house for the night.

 

Enjoy

Rendez-vous à Ailly le 13 juin prochain avec Liesel Schiffer et Charlotte Corday...


Le samedi 13 juin 2015, Gérard Trémolet et David Barre de l’Etang recevront Liesel Schiffer dans leur domaine d’Ailly, à Bernières d’Ailly, en vallée d’Auge, non loin de la ville de Falaise.

Cette demeure normande du XIème siècle, à qui Charles d’Aubert d’Ailly a donné son allure moderne autant que gracieuse en 1721, appartint ensuite à la famille Vauquelin des Chesnes. C’est en voisine que Charlotte Corday, la célèbre meurtrière du journaliste de la Révolution, Jean-Paul Marat, venait suivre la messe dans la chapelle du château, consacrée à Gerbold, un saint local.

Liesel Schiffer retracera la destinée de l’héroïne normande, tantôt jugée royaliste, tantôt révolutionnaire au fil des convictions des historiens…

Le rendez-vous est fixé à 14 heures, la conférence débutera à 15 heures puis une collation sera proposée pour un “instant gourmand” et de conversation avec l’auteure suivi d’une vente et dédicace de ses ouvrages.

Les visiteurs qui le souhaitent pourront rester dîner et dormir au château, dans l’une des élégantes et confortables chambres rénovées.

  • - 12 euros la causerie et l’instant gourmand
  • - 170 euros la nuit en chambre double (dîner et petit-déjeuner compris)

 

Pour s’inscrire :
Tél : 09 51 23 53 23
Mail : tremolet@free.fr

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Tilly (non vérifié)

mai 22, 2017 · Reply

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