"TV journalist and writer Paul Mason talks to Matthew Parris about the 19th Century French anarchist, Louise Michel, heroine of the Paris Commune. They're joined by historian Carolyn Eichner who says that Michel "expounded action and aggression with a theatrical, infectious elegance."
Known as 'the Red Virgin of Montmartre', Michel fought on the barricades in the
short-lived revolution of 1871. Captured and tried by the French government,
she told her accusers: "Since it seems that every heart that beats for
freedom has no right to anything but a little lump of lead, I demand my share.
If you let me live, I shall never cease to cry for vengeance and l shall avenge
my brothers. If you are not cowards, kill me!"
She served seven years in a penal colony in the South Pacific and seven
thousand Parisians turned out to welcome her home. She was a school teacher,
writer, orator, anthropologist, feminist and cat-lover. She wrote some moving
poems - and an opera about the destruction of the world."
Watch scenes from a play based on Michel's life. And an interview with the actor and director.
Watch a film on her life!
Read translations of her works; poems, plays, essays, stories...
Read Persian information about her.