Saturday, January 11, 2014

Another reason to love Carnavalet: Georges Couthon's wheelchair

George Couthon was one of the twelve members of the Committee of Public Safety. The image of a trustworthy, polite, family man, as he is reputed to have been, is tough to reconcile with his actions as a member of the Committee of Public Safety, but maybe it will become more clear when I'm finished reading about him in Twelve Who Ruled.  He's redeemed somewhat because of his hesitation to follow the Committee's instruction to completely destroy the city of Lyon and to annihilate the rebellious Frenchmen that were her citizens.  Couthon dragged his feet and eventually forfeited the assignment to his colleague on the Committee, d'Herbois, who accomplished it with gusto. 

Couthon lost the use of his legs through a gradual paralysis which left him confined to a wheelchair.  Doctors attributed the paralysis to meningitis, but Couthon believed it to be a consequence of "freely indulging his sexual proclivities," as the book says.  This must be the cousin ailment to the blindness we've all heard about. 


Big Dog said...

Your insight still amazes me.

Fortunately I am only partially blind in one eye.

Madeleine Doak said...

The world inside my head is a desolate place! You have no idea how exciting it is to find a comment on my blog. Good Dog.

Micah said...

You need to update your blog! It's been too long!

Also, I was just thinking today about how I had a great childhood and I'm so lucky to have always had a supportive, loving mommy to tell me that I'm worthy. You're the best! Love you!

cornel codyn said...

very nice pics , i like

Madeleine Doak said...

Thank you, Cornel. I love that you take the time to leave comments! Every blogger's dream!