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Charlotte Corday

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"I annex my extract of baptism to show what the feeblest hand can do, led by a thorough devotion. If I do not succeed in my enterprise, Frenchmen, I have shown you the road, you know your enemies, arise! march, strike!"
―Charlotte Corday in her note, 1793.[src]

Charlotte Corday (1768 – 1793) was a figure of the French Revolution. A minor noblewoman who sympathized with the Girondists, she became famous for her assassination of radical journalist Jean-Paul Marat in 1793.

BiographyEdit

A minor aristocrat from Caen, Corday grew appalled as the Revolution became more and more radicalized, making her sympathetic to the moderate Girondists. Convinced that Jean-Paul Marat would lead the country into civil war through his inflammatory newspaper, she resolved to kill him in an attempt to prevent further bloodshed.[1]

Corday journeyed to Paris with the intention of striking down Marat in public, but discovered that a skin condition kept him confined to his residence. Checking into Hotel Providence, she left a note confessing to the murder she was about to commit, following which she purchased an expensive knife and set off towards Marat's residence. Corday attempted to bluff her way inside, claiming she had a list of Girondists that were planning an uprising in Caen, but was turned away by Marat's wife Simonne.[1][2]

Corday tried again that evening and managed to get an audience with Marat. She was invited upstairs, where the man was soaking in a medicinal bath, and named the supposed Girondists that were conspiring against him. As Marat wrote them down, Corday stabbed him in the chest, killing the revolutionary almost instantly.[1]

She was subsequently apprehended by the authorities, along with other suspects. The Assassin Arno Dorian investigated Marat's death and found Corday's list of fake names, which spelled out "Providence", the hotel where he later found her confession. Corday was executed by guillotine on 17 July 1793.[1] It is said that her decapitated head was held up to the crowd and slapped for good measure, causing it to take on a look of indignation.[2]

TriviaEdit

ReferencesEdit

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