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The Red Virgin: Memoirs of Louise Michel

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Louise Michel was born illegitimate in 1830 and became a schoolmistress in Paris. She was involved in radical activities during the twilight of France’s Second Empire, and during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the siege of Paris. She was a leading member of the revolutionary groups controlling Montmarte. Michel emerged as one of the leaders of the insurrection during ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 29th 2003 by University Alabama Press (first published 1886)
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Micah Perry
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The first hand accounts alone are absolutely spellbinding except these words are arranged by a poetic soul elevating the work beyond my description. All I can tell you is this work has changed my life in countless ways though among them
1 going vegan and committing my life to an ethical lifestyle
2 taking interest in racial separations and amending these
3 allowing my life to be guided by Anarchist principle

These have led me to a much lighter and happier life. Her writing is so easy to read it'
Apr 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: superior
Another elegant author, upstanding anarchist and inspiration for teaching. She never compromised, followed her heart and never displayed fear or doubt.
Sep 29, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: read-in-part
Within three pages from her communard chapters: "launching balloons filled with letters to the provinces" (65); "we drank some coffee in the teeth of death" anecdote (66); when Dombrowski holds out his hands to Louise Michel before going to his death ("'It's over,' he told me. 'No, no,' I said to him... But he was right" [67]). Impossible to not feel romantic about this.
Nicole Davis
Dec 10, 2009 rated it liked it
The memoirs of a woman on the front lines of the battle for the Paris Commune. Very interesting and somewhat poetic.
Alec Fletcher
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
In these memoirs, written mostly while in prison in the 1880s, Louise Michel provides an account of her life as an activist and leader of the French radical left. Haunted by the recent death of her mother, she often writes from a place of gritty despair, proclaiming several times that nothing that happens could possibly hurt her further, and that this only makes her a more-committed servant of the Social Revolution.

The Social Revolution, other than a friend Marie and her mother, both dead at th
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Louise Michelle was an anarchist, a feminist and an ardent advocate for animal rights in the 18th Century. She was a dedicated teacher throughout her life. When the free city of Paris formed the Commune, she fought bravely to defend it. She was arrested and spent years in exile in New Caledonia. She came back to France to great public acclaim. Her stories are genuinely entertaining and inspirational. In spite of all she endured, she never lost hope or gave up or sold out.
Cristina Contilli

L’anarchica Louise Michel (1830-1905) amica e “mito” di Madeleine Pelletier.
Louise Michel era chiamata la “vierge rouge” perché aveva scelto di dare la precedenza all’impegno politico e di rinunciare ad avere una vita sentimentale. La verginità di Madeleine e della sua amica Arria Ly mi sembra quindi una scelta ideologica più che un semplice fatto fisico, modulata sulla scia dell’esempio della Michel, ma è difficile rinunciare per sempre all’amore e così la Michel ebbe una rel
Jade Maitre
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A magnificent work. Louise was such a unique, courageous, eloquent and sensual woman, and her memoirs reflect this. I am grateful she left so much of herself in writing these memoirs, as they help preserve a small element of what made her so special, as well as preserving the memory of many other communards who left much less behind them.
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Clémence-Louise Michel, dite Louise Michel, alias «Enjolras», était une institutrice, militante anarchiste, franc-maçonne, aux idées féministes et l’une des figures majeures de la Commune de Paris. (Source: Wikipedia)

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