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"Stories About the French Revolution by Those Who Lived It" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2020 3:05 p.m. PST

"Stories about the French Revolution frequently begin with the fall of the Bastille because it was a pivotal moment that happened on 14 July 1789 when revolutionaries stormed the prison that had once been a fortress. For many of them, the Bastille was a symbol of Louis XVI's tyranny and monarchical despotism and therefore important for them to overthrow.

Among those who thought of the Bastille in such a way was Madame Tussaud's uncle and mentor, Philippe Mathé Curtius. He had been among the first to wear the uniform of the citizen soldiers and was soon elected a captain. The day before the Bastille was attacked, he had joined with those who became known as the vainqueur de la Bastille and was with them searching for weapons before the Bastille fell. However, he was not with the revolutionaries when the Bastille was stormed, although he did arrive there shortly afterwards.

Despite his lack of involvement, Curtius found it too irresistible not to brag that he had been with the revolutionaries when the Bastille fell. In 1790, he published a thin pamphlet about his heroic feats called Services of Mr. Curtis (Services du Sieur Curtius vainqueur de la Bastille depuis le 12 juillet jusqu'au 6 octobre 1789). It was full of exaggerations and read as if he had seized the prison single handedly…"
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