Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

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[BRIEF NOTE] The First Sexual Revolution?

I've very recently come across a remarkable story connecting the Marquis de Sade with the storming of the Bastille. To wit:

On July 10, 1789, the Marquis de Sade, who was imprisoned in the Bastille, had an argument with his jailer. It would seem after 12 years of imprisonment the Marquis was suffering from severe gastritis and was quite bloated and puffy. He had been asking for coffee, due to its remarkable ability to clear up such blockages. He was denied his coffee and to make matters worse they took away his rump cushion.

The Marquis de Sade grew insolent and grabbed his toilet funnel, using it as a megaphone. He cried out to the people on the street "The government is cutting the throat's of political prisoners inside the jail!"

Historians have always pondered why the rebels stormed the Bastille, as it only held a small handful of political prisoners most of them aristocrats like the Marquis. After the Marquis' outburst, rumors began to fly. The King had imprisoned rebels and was slitting their throats.

10 days later the rebels stormed the Bastille. Of course, they found only a few prisoners like the Marquis, but more importantly they found a huge cache of arms. Without these arms, most historians agree, the French Revolution would not have been successful.

If this is not an urban legend and the Marquis de Sade did in fact trigger the storming of the Bastille, making the Paris mob an armed and militant force for perhaps the first time, I would have to admit to being rather surprised. Is it an urban legend, though? I ask my readers for help.
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