maybe far fetched… but oh golly
If it hadn’t been for the Marquis de Sade, The French Revolution might not have been won.
By 1789, the Marquis de Sade had been in prison for twelve years, for the abduction and abuse of a prostitute. The last five of those years he was incarcerated at the now-infamous Bastille. The Bastille, which at the time held high-ranking people and aristocrats, was much less sordid than other Parisian prisons, but was still a tortuous place for the Marquis. The long years in prison had left the Marquis with a debilitating case of gastritis. He continually begged his jailer for a little coffee which was known to clear up such gastric blockages, but the jailer always refused.
On July 10, 1789, after begging for coffee once again, the jailer not only said no to the coffee, he took away the only comfort the Marquis had—his rump pillow. For the Marquis, this was the last straw. He took his toilet funnel and, using it as a megaphone, screamed out his cell window, “The government is cutting the throats of political prisoners in here!” His rant caused a small riot outside of the prison; when the rebels heard about it, they decided to take action.
Ten days later the rebels stormed the Bastille. They found few prisoners (the Bastille only held 50), but another discovery in the prison was much more important: a huge cache of weapons and ammunition. Finding those arms was the turning point for the rebels, as they now had the means to carry out and win the revolution. Many historians agree that had the Marquis gotten his coffee, the Bastille would not have been stormed and the French Revolution might very well not have been won.
hm. idiot guides
Hmmmm. I can’t see how Sade’s rants had encouraged any such riot. For one thing, such a contention ignores the volatile situation in the Estates General, the king’s summoning of soldiers, etc. For another, the incidents culminated with the storming of the Bastille but did not begin with them (the disturbances starting on the 12th, the fortress being famously stormed on the 14th) so it does not seem as though they were spurred by any woeful situation of the prisoners - otherwise, wouldn’t that be the first target?
Indeed, the prisoners were a consolation prize in capturing the Bastille. The goal was to seize the ammunition and weaponry - these were not pleasant surprises to be heisted while freeing prisoners, but the prize the crowd had been aiming for.
And finally…I believe (I ain’t no Sadist scholar) the Marquis de Sade had been transferred from the Bastille days before the riots began. He had called out for the populace to help but got no response.
He has been retroactively placed in the Bastille on the 14th either through genuine ignorance of historians or an effort of counterrevolutionary (Revisionist, Royalist, Thermidorian, etc) historians to discredit 1789 by pointing a jagged finger at what the July Days had freed: a rapist.
It’s an interesting story though and it’s one of those things that I sorta wish were true because —- gaaah, fun anecdotal discussions! But I doubt it. Could be wrong though.
If anyone wants to expand, correct, call me a shithead, feel free to reblog and add! :D
Wikipedia mostly agrees with OP. However, your explanation makes a lot more sense, given what I know of the revolution, and practicality in general. (Since… you generally don’t storm a whole fortress to save nine people.) So now I’m sad that Wikipedia is inaccurate. (But I don’t know enough real facts to go in and fix it myself.)
Wikipedia seriously says that the Bastille was stormed for the prisoners?
Are you fucking kidding me? This is Frev 102. I understand if someone new makes the mistake, someone who is still learning, that’s cool - glad you’re learning, OP! - but to feel so much confidence in yourself and go “yes I will edit Wikipedia” ——- grrrr
Oh well. It also says Robespierre “Succeeded” Louis XVI as “President of the National Convention” so it’s basically an irredeemable shitpile tbh.
Sorry I forgot to include a link to the Wikipedia article. Now it does say that the storming of the Bastille was not connected to de Sade shouting about the prisoners being murdered. Revision history says it hasn’t been edited recently, so I must have misread.
The stuff about what he was arrested for pre-revolution doesn’t sound quite right to me, but I don’t know enough about Sade to be sure.