July 29th, 2014

Nobody expects the French Revolution

Yesterday I watched the very long movie 'The French Revolution' it had Jane Seymour and Sam Neil,

I still don't understand the historical event very well. More books will required. Today I am reading a biography of Robespierre. Only one chapter in and I am already impressed by the careful tiny details that the movie used, like his love of oranges, and his having a sky blue coat.

So many people who lived through that time were compulsive writers. We have their letters, their journals their documents. We are lucky to have all that.

The book says that opinions of him are sharply divided. Many people loved him. What he felt for others is unclear. He was only 36 when he died.

Oh, but the past is slippery. My incomplete understanding of those people and their time is so colored by my knowing what followed. Revolutions don't come cheaply, and they don't come kind. People turn on themselves, and anyone near, like frantic dogs biting in hysterical pain.

They were the first modern Revolutionaries. They and the others at the end of their century were inventing it all.

When I think of the two blood soaked centuries we have had since, and the voices of those we followed, the hair on my neck stands up.

Kind of grim tonight guys-- history feels. And, too, I can hear a cool little voice saying 'chopping the heads off the nobility won't fill their bellies--'