You may be wondering why I have been blogging about forgotten historical women who have made a difference in making our world just a little bit better. Well, I am writing a book about a composite of a relative of mine who came from Ireland, suffered the voyage, lost a child, when her husband passed away to keep her home she had to work for the coal mines. How she survived, and what she did it to make her children's lives
and community better was amazing.
Olympe de Gouges
The French playwright Olympe de Gouges was one of the most extraordinary women of her day. Born in 1748, she established her own theatre company, campaigned against slavery and even published a pamphlet called the Declaration of the Rights of Women and the Female Citizen, which begins with the words: “Women are born free and remain equal to men in rights.”
But as the French Revolution slid into sectarian bloodshed, Gouges’ outspokenness made her a target. By 1793, horrified by the extremism of Robespierre and the Jacobins, she had produced a subversive poster demanding a national referendum that would let people choose between a republic, a loose federation or a restored monarchy. That was way too much for the regime. Shortly after, her friends in the moderate Girondin faction had been arrested, then the Jacobins came after her.
On November 4 a Parisian chronicler recorded her fate. “Yesterday, at seven o’clock in the evening, a most extraordinary person called Olympe de Gouges who held the imposing title of a woman of letters, was taken to the scaffold,” he wrote. She approached the scaffold with a calm and serene expression on her face, and forced the guillotine’s furies, which had driven her to this place of torture, to admit that such courage and beauty had never been seen before.”
It was a tragic end for such a brave woman. One Jacobin declared that her fate was a lesson for every woman who “abandoned the cares of her home, to meddle in the affairs of the Republic.”
If you're looking for an enchanting book for your children this Christmas pick up All Eyes on Alexandra. A great story about being different and because of it learns to become a leader.