Madame Roland - John S. C. Abbott
Madame Roland was one of the most fascinating characters of the French Revolution. Born into relative poverty, Marie Roland was a brilliant intellectual who married into a noble family. Her husband was a minister of the Revolutionary government during the early years of the French Revolution, and she became secretary and behind-the-scenes mastermind of the Girondist party. Although the Girondists thoroughly supported the revolution, their criticism of the outrages of some of the lawless revolutionaries earned them the enmity of the increasingly radical Jacobin party, and Marie Roland died on the scaffold during the reign of terror.
The history of Madame Roland embraces the most interesting events of the French Revolution, that most instructive tragedy which time has yet enacted. There is, perhaps, contained in the memoirs of no other woman so much to invigorate the mind with the desire for high intellectual culture, and so much to animate the spirit heroically to meet all the ills of this eventful life. Nothwithstanding her experience of the heaviest temporal calamities, she found, in the opulence of her own intellectual treasures, an unfailing resource. These inward joys peopled her solitude with society, and dispelled even from the dungeon its gloom. I know not where to look for a career more full of suggestive thought.