Born in Normandy, France, Charlotte was sent to a convent in Caen when her mother and older sister passed away. There she had access to the writings of Plutarch,, and , which she studied religiously. In 1791, she moved in with her cousin, and the two became so close that Charlotte was made sole heir to her relative’s estate. She left her cousin two years later and went to live in Paris, armed with a copy of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives and a plan to take down Marat at all costs. She purchased a kitchen knife with a six-inch blade and wrote an “Address to the French People,” which explained her motives for killing the aging radical. Corday traveled first to the National Assembly but soon learned that Marat no longer attended meetings, as a worsening skin disease had confined him to his bathtub. She immediately went to his home, claiming to have information on several escaped Girondists. She fed him several lies before plunging her knife into his chest, piercing his heart and killing him within seconds.
At her trial, Charlotte took full blame for the assassination, claiming that she alone had planned the murder. Four days later, the young woman was executed under the guillotine. Marat’s death did not end the Revolution or the Reign of Terror; instead, he became a martyr, and his likeness replaced crucifixes and religious statues.
|Mother and older sister died; was sent to a convent in Caen|
|Moved in with her cousin|
|Moved to France|
|Assassinated Jean-Paul Marat|
|Executed by guillotine|
|The Crime of Charlotte Corday in||Old Time Tales by Lawton B. Evans|
|Reign of Terror and Rise of Napoleon in||France: Peeps at History by John Finnemore|
in Stories of the French Revolution
|Radical Doctor who became Leader of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.|
|Key figure of the French Revolution. Leader of the Reign of Terror.|