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Thread: Memoirs of the Sansons

  1. #1
    Sailing the Void crusoe's Avatar
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    Memoirs of the Sansons

    There’s only a handful of Books like:

    Memoirs of the Sansons: From Private Notes and Documents (1688-1847)
    by Charles Henri Sanson


    Here’s a community review of the Book, found on Goodreads.com:

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...of-the-sansons

    Quote:

    The Sanson's were executioners that served the government of France from 1688 through 1847, passing the profession and position from father to son. This collection of memoirs, put together by the last in the long line of executioners, covers their history up until the execution of King Louis XVI in 1793.

    Although grim, the subject is fascinating. The author gives accounts of some of the sensational crimes of the 18th century, his ancestor's involvement in their executions, and the deportment of the condemned before their death.

    We see the barbarity of the punishments administered at the time, where torture before death was common and decapitation was seen as humane. It gives the reader a great appreciation of the prohibition of 'cruel and unusual punishment' in modern society.

    The humanity of the men whose job it was to administer the horrible punishments decided on by the government (whether it be the monarchy or the French revolutionaries) is contrasted against the deadly profession it was their duty to perform.

    We are given a new perspective of the attitudes of the day concerning executions and those who carried them out. The origin of the guillotine, its conception and purpose, are especially of interest.

    All in all, this is a book that opens your mind and gets you thinking.


    Unquote.

    The Book is available -for free- online at the Internet Archive
    http://www.archive.org/stream/memoir...suoft_djvu.txt
    Last edited by crusoe; 08-17-2012 at 10:37 AM.
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  2. #2
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Hi crusoe just out of curiosity what would you say is the difference between memoirs and diary?

    Charles Henri Sanson Henri Sanson

    Is this name correct?
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  3. #3
    Sailing the Void crusoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    Hi crusoe just out of curiosity what would you say is the difference between memoirs and diary?

    Charles Henri Sanson Henri Sanson

    Is this name correct?
    Fixed

    A Diary is a daily (in most cases) Entry of Thoughts etc. of the Diary-Owner.
    A Memoir shows quotes and situations, even (in this case a short story of Balzac) that may not be directly connected to the Author's Life. (The Life and Times...)

    Did you read the Book ? If not, start now...
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  4. #4

    Cool I didn't know this memoir existed....

    I will try to get the book to read parts of it at any event. Especially about the executions held during the French revolution. I have read in secondary works many stories about what was said and done on the scaffold; eg, as Marie Antoinette mounted the scaffold, she inadvertently stepped on the foot of Sanson. She immediately apologized to her executioner, saying "Pardon me Sir. I didn't mean to do it."

    And at the execution of Louis XVI, the military band in attendance was made to play so loudly that his last words were drowned out.

    And at the execution of poor Robespierre, who had led so many to the grim reaper before his turn came, who couldn't speak with his jaw bound up tightly from a gunshot wound from the night before, so he lost his speech, then his head.

  5. #5
    Sailing the Void crusoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfloyd View Post
    I will try to get the book to read parts of it at any event. Especially about the executions held during the French revolution. I have read in secondary works many stories about what was said and done on the scaffold; eg, as Marie Antoinette mounted the scaffold, she inadvertently stepped on the foot of Sanson. She immediately apologized to her executioner, saying "Pardon me Sir. I didn't mean to do it."

    And at the execution of Louis XVI, the military band in attendance was made to play so loudly that his last words were drowned out.

    And at the execution of poor Robespierre, who had led so many to the grim reaper before his turn came, who couldn't speak with his jaw bound up tightly from a gunshot wound from the night before, so he lost his speech, then his head.
    Sanson was very informative regarding the whole bloody madness of the
    Revolution. He wrote in detail about many of the trials. The MOB is and
    will be for ever: disgusting. The Book touched me deeply.
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  6. #6
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crusoe View Post
    Fixed

    A Diary is a daily (in most cases) Entry of Thoughts etc. of the Diary-Owner.
    A Memoir shows quotes and situations, even (in this case a short story of Balzac) that may not be directly connected to the Author's Life. (The Life and Times...)

    Did you read the Book ? If not, start now...
    Haha glad it is corrected.
    So before I look at the book can I say that you conclude the a diary has a purpose a different one from a memoir?
    A memoir are quotes and events about other people that have nothing to do with the author and so what is the actual purpose of that?
    Sorry I do not mean to be picky but I need to understand first how a memoit works or came about.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  7. #7
    Sailing the Void crusoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    Haha glad it is corrected.
    So before I look at the book can I say that you conclude the a diary has a purpose a different one from a memoir?
    A memoir are quotes and events about other people that have nothing to do with the author and so what is the actual purpose of that?
    Sorry I do not mean to be picky but I need to understand first how a memoit works or came about.
    You're not picky, but you should discuss this point with Sanson directly.
    Last edited by crusoe; 08-18-2012 at 01:58 PM.
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