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book cover of The Angel of the Assassination

The Angel of the Assassination

A non fiction book by

The following pages contain an account of the life of the woman known as Charlotte de Corday, with which are interwoven the lives of the man whom she slew and the man who died for championing her memory. It is indeed impossible, if a true balance is to be preserved in the story of Mlle. de Corday, to ignore either Jean-Paul Marat or Jean-Adam Lux. Nor is it complete without some reference to the man who inspired these people, complete strangers until they met in the summer of 1793, to destroy each other. Jean-Paul Marat had never heard of Charlotte de Corday when she entered his presence on that afternoon of July 13th, 1793. Jean-Adam Lux had never heard of Charlotte de Corday until she had only a few days to live; he never saw her until she was on her way to death.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's teachings inflamed, exalted and brought together these three people of different races, to their destruction and their immortality. The Sardinian French cosmopolitan, the purebred Norman, the German from Mayence, had each in several ways and according to a peculiar temperament, imbibed the doctrines of Rousseau, and the two latter had brooded long and deeply over the book that had been the inspiration of the Genevan watchmaker's son - Plutarch's Lives of Illustrious Men.
Not only then are these three people of remarkable interest because of the tragic drama they played in the midst of anarchy, but because they received the impetus for their actions from a common source.
To force this point would be vexatious, for in each case character, circumstance, environment, shaped and directed the life, but in the background was always Du Contrat Social, Emile, the enthusiasm for the heroes of Plutarch, an almost frantic idealism, an ardent admiration for antiquity and its fabulous virtues.
The story of Charlotte de Corday arouses no controversy, postulates no problem; it is simple, straightforward and well authenticated to most of the smallest details; the slight discrepancies in one or two unimportant particulars have been dealt with in the Note given above the Bibliography at the end of this volume. Though the main outlines of the story I have here attempted to tell are well known, it has never been related to English readers in full detail and as a consecutive narrative based on the vast contemporary material and the researches of modern French scholars. This is my excuse for essaying a subject as difficult as fascinating.
The title - a translation of Alphonse Lamartine's "L'ange de l'assassinat" - may appear too melodramatic for what professes to be a sober study of facts, but the subject itself is melodramatic as only reality can be.


Used availability for Marjorie Bowen's The Angel of the Assassination

Kindle Editions

July 2013 : USA Kindle edition

Title: The Angel of the Assassination
Author(s): Joseph Shearing
Publisher: MonkeyBone Publications
Availability: Amazon