thjazi: Sketch of goofy smiling Enjolras (Default)
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The Hostages, at least according to T. Nelson and Sons!  Discuss as we will!


Date: 2014-06-19 02:42 am (UTC)
bobbiewickham: Kalinda Sharma of The Good Wife (Default)
From: [personal profile] bobbiewickham

And now we get to see actual the siege that resulted in the breach in La Tourgue so painstakingly described in the last chapter, a siege waged by Gauvain (the less hard but still firm voice in the crowd) and Cimourdain, the voice that doesn’t even flinch at the thought of sacrificing Michelle’s children.

The speech of Imanus serves as both an “as you know, Bob” type of exposition for the reader (telling us more details about the status of the Vendée war) and as a Sympathy for the Devil speech: Imanus isn’t completely wrong. He is fighting a war on his own land, to keep out invaders from elsewhere. His parents and his 18-year-old sister were guillotined. His people’s homes and lands were destroyed. Yes, it’s more complicated than that, Yes, in addition to defending his turf, he and his people are betraying their country and giving aid to a foreign invasion that’s going to reinstitute an absolute monarchy and kill everyone who opposes them. He’s still not completely wrong, and that’s the power of this section.

He’s wrong enough, though. He’s helping the English invade France and he’s willing to kill three kids because they were adopted by a republican regiment and that’s wrong enough.

“It’s you, priest.” “Yes, it’s me, traitor.” Oh, and now it’s ON. Fight, fight! This was the capital-C Confrontation everything was leading up to, after all. (“Cimourdain, at last, we see each other plain…”)

Date: 2014-06-19 03:30 am (UTC)
primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
From: [personal profile] primeideal
"a blast of heroism and cruelty blew over France" Nice mixed metaphor. The winds of fate? The trumpet blast of doom? Who can say.

"everything was becoming terrible." You don’t say!

"The disasters to the great army called Catholic and Royal were beginning;" "On 1 August 1793, the Committee of Public Safety ordered General Jean-Baptiste Carrier to carry out a "pacification" of the region by complete physical destruction. These orders were not carried out immediately, but a steady stream of demands for total destruction persisted…The Republican army was reinforced, benefiting from the first men of the levée en masse and reinforcements from Mainz. The Vendean army had its first serious defeat at the Battle of Cholet on 17 October; worse for the rebels, their army was split." (Revolt in the Vendée)

"We hope that the assassinations will be done with prudence; disguised priests and women are the suitable persons for this undertaking" Old men and women are great for killing people because nobody will suspect them. +1 to Cimourdain.

""No mercy! no prisoners!" was the cry of both parties. History was full of a terrible darkness." Inexorable enough for you?

"One evening, as the stars were beginning to shine, in the quiet of a dog-day twilight, when not a leaf trembled in the forest, not a blade of grass stirred on the moor, through the silence of the approaching darkness, the sound of a horn was heard. The sound of this horn came from the top of the tower." Immediate contrast of nature’s tranquility with both sides being merciless.

"This swarm was a bivouac." Oh hey, we’re back to the mountaineering metaphors, aren’t we. Gauvain’s army wants to climb up…the tower and overthrow Lantenac? But they need to get more sublime and more terrible to deal with the extremes.

"we are simple and pure beneath the will of God, as the grass beneath the dew" <- Even l’Imânus is capable of some kind of rhetoric! Which is saying something.

"and the result is that you are attacking us with four thousand five hundred soldiers, and we have but nineteen men for our defence." <- Is this because their army got routed as mentioned at the beginning, or it got spread out deliberately as mentioned just now? Hard to say, but either way, the scale has turned.

"You have succeeded in contriving a mine and in blowing up a piece of our rock and a piece of our wall." <- Republicans using their technological savvy to fight for progress and blow up the old tower, even if it’s Gauvain’s old home! We don’t get to see this at all on-screen, but that must have been interesting.

"These children were adopted by one of your battahons, and they are yours." <- Howwww do our characters get so famous (yes, I know in this case). I wonder if we’re supposed to go "well, really they’re Michelle’s if anyone’s" and dislike l’Imânus even more?

"I, l’Imânus, I who speak to you, have had six tons of tar and one hundred fagots of dried heath placed there" <- He’s so proud to brag about his plans for killing babies, he’s not even going to give Lantenac credit for coming up with this plan.

"Hold, it is you, priest!" <- This scene from Lantenac’s point of view, though. He’s been up and down the coast, causing chaos, making war, working for England, he finally winds up back home fighting against his grand-nephew’s army, and then who shows up but that weird priest with the radical ideas that he hired to look after the kid. "Like, seriously, you again?!"


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