Monday, March 19, 2012

This Day in History March 20, 1792

Okay, I know it is a little gruesome--okay, it's downright disgusting! But it was on this date in 1792 that France adopted the use of the guillotine as the official means of execution during that horrific time called the French Revolution.  It was actually considered a more humane form of execution since it did its job in one fell swoop rather than two or more whacks to behead someone with a sword.  And it was also a means of equality amongst citizens.  There was only one way to be executed whether you were peasant or nobility.  The use of the guillotine was only abolished when the death penalty was overturned--1981.

I have to admit that the French Revolution does intrigue me.  While I am grateful that I never had to witness the guillotine in its heyday, historical fiction from this time period of history has always interested me.  One of my favorite books is A Tale of Two Cities, and I also love The Scarlet Pimpernel.

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