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Bastille Day

Sunday, July 14, 2019

I'll take any excuse to link to a Rush song

I've always been amused how the the storming of the Bastille, an early event in the French Revolution, is often mentioned as some sort of freeing of political prisoners, when there were apparently only seven people imprisoned in the fortress on July 14th, 1789. That said, the event was still a powerful symbol of uprising, and challenge to King Louis XVI, and an event that is still celebrated to this day as a national holiday (although, it's not merely, or specifically that event that is celebrated in France's la fete nationale held every year on this date).

I celebrated by doing nothing related to it save going down a Wikipedia rabbit hole about Bastille Day and the French Revolution...as often happens, you end up far afield of where you started, often on very amusing tangents scarcely related to the original topic. In this case, my "how did I get here???" article was on the book, Frankenstein. Turns out the connection is through the mother of the author, Mary Shelley, whose name was Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote a rebuttal to a well known English conservative's attack on the French Revolution. She eventually wrote a book that some consider the first feminist text, called "A Vindication of the Rights of Women", which you can learn more about here:

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