Anne-Lucile-Philippa Desmoulins was guillotined in Paris on the 13th of April 1794, a beautiful sunny Spring day. She was just twenty four years old, newly widowed after her husband, Camille whom she had loved devotedly since adolescence had been guillotined alongside his best friend Danton on the 5th April. Their son, Horace, who was not quite two years old was left orphaned.
The courageous Lucile was to address her final letter to her mother:
‘Good night, dearest mother. A tear falls from my eye for you. I will go to sleep in the tranquillity of innocence. Lucile.‘
A witness of her execution was to later recall the elegance of Lucile’s dress and her ‘sang-froid’ as she faced death, chatting with the widow of Hébert as they both made their way in a tumbril to the scaffold. The two women were first to die that die and we are told that they embraced at the foot of the scaffold, forgetting that their husbands had loathed each other and bonding as fellow victims in their final moments.
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