Back to Main List
Back to Book List

Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napolean

Suzanne M. Desan




Marie Antoinette almost certainly didn't say it.

But if she did, the result would have been the same. Louis Antoine de Saint-Just expressed the revolutionary sentiment: "one cannot reign innocently: the insanity of doing so is evident. Every king is a rebel and a usurper."

I suppose you could say, the rights of man respected by the Revolutionary Republic ended at the right to create or maintain an aristocracy, and doing so or even looking suspicious ended your right to a head. Of course, this effectively concentrated the power over life and death in a dozen men on the Committee of Public Safety, but being elected officers, that was OK. Well, until it wasn't anymore.