Friday, September 21, 2007

"The Axe clanks down;

a King's Life is shorn away. It is Monday the 21st of January 1793. He was aged Thirty-eight years four months and twenty-eight days."

Exactly two months older than I am now. Louis XVIth is a tragic figure in The French Revolution, ineffectual and bewildered in his political life, courageous and dignified when tested - at his capture at Varennes, at his execution. A man of some substance, but with no business governing a country. Why do so few kings abdicate? For Louis, it's a failure of imagination, a common enough failing, I suppose.

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