Watching the parade was a strikingly good-looking woman of twenty-five named Charlotte Corday d'Armont. The house in Caen where she lodged was just a few paces away from the Intendance, where the Girondins had made their headquarters. Since often, from the balcony, they exercised their oratory on sympathetic crowds, she had heard them many times... Charlotte Corday was already consumed with an intense, almost feverish hatred for the Jacobins, whose conduct on May 31 and June 2, she believed, had brought the Republic to the lowest level of degradation.
It was a republic she wished to see flourish. For although Charlotte had been born in a timbered manor house to a family of minor Norman gentry, she was by no means a royalist... She had read deeply in Rousseau and the standard Roman histories and imagined the Revolution as dedicated to bringing about an exalted moral transformation.
Charlotte stressed her own resolve and believed that the common delusion that women were incapable of such acts had played to her advantage. It was evidently a point of honor with her - and in deliberate repudiation of the revolutionary stereotypes of gender - to affirm that her sex was both physically and morally more than strong enough to commit acts of patriotic violence.
"I was a republican well before the Revolution and I have never lacked energy."
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