Wednesday, 10 August 2011

August 10th, 1792: The siege of the Tuileries


On this day in history, the Tuileries Palace in the centre of Paris was laid siege to by a mob and in a horrifying display of public violence, centuries of monarchist rule in France were effectively overthrown. The royal family, who had been living under de facto house arrest at the Tuileries for nearly three years since the fall of Versailles, were forced to flee for their lives and many of those attempting to defend them were savagely murdered, chief amongst them being the loyal Swiss Guard. Novelist Elena Maria Vidal, author of two novels based on the royal family, has posted an excellent account of the fall of the monarchy, told from the point-of-view of the marquise de Tourzel, the impeccably Catholic governess to the royal children and a character who featured prominently in both of my own plays about Louis XVI and his family.

"Several faithful servants of the King, having found means to gain access to the Assembly, went to the King in the reporters' gallery, and gave his Majesty an account of what was going on at the Tuileries. They told us that the women had got away without any accident, and my son assured me that Pauline was in safety. This certainty and his presence were a great consolation to my heart, although it was still deeply grieved by the fate of the many brave fellows who were devoted to the King and the royal family. Mgr. the Dauphin was charming on this occasion on account of the sympathy with which he displayed his satisfaction at knowing that his dear Pauline was out of danger. These gentlemen told us that the Suisses had got the upper hand for a moment, but as they were unsupported, and the crowd increased every moment, they had been compelled to retire; that a great number of them were killed, and that the general fury had extended to the attendants of private individuals, of whom several, and especially mine, had perished; and that it was impossible to help feeling that there would be many more victims, so great was the rage which animated the mob, who were by this time masters of the Castle...."

Click HERE for the full article on Elena Maria's blog.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for the link, Gareth. I am very excited about POPULAR!

    ReplyDelete

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