BOOKS: To Quell the Terror

I read this book by a man named Bush… (no relation to George that i know of)…

he chronicles the lives (somewhat) of 16 Carmelites who were put to death for defying the new ‘government’ . At first they were just kicked out of their convent and had to live w/ relatives and friends, told not to wear their religious habits. They complied w/ some ofthe laws but not all and this interesting thing happened. When they were on their way to their so-called trial, they were supposed to wear regular clothes (were commanded to) but their regular clothes were being washed and the only change of clothes they had were their habits so, instead of making the court and judge wait for them, the guard took them as is… so they got their wish to die in their religious habits after all… even though the new govt had not wanted that (it would not send a good message…) Their regular garments were then, w hen dry, given to English religious who were imprisoned but later released (guess the Revolutionaries didn’t want to guillotine everyone, esp if the imprisoned were from another country… might cause an international incident…). The Eng religoius used the clothing as relics…

Another interesting thing: The executioner, after the day’s killing, would go to the courthouse to find out how many carts were needed for the next day’s 'work"… He always knew the night before the “trial” exactly how many victims there was going to be… which proves that the judges had no intention of releasing anyone who was arrested.

Unlike other persons sent to the guillotine, they went peacefully, singing and praying until the end. They offered up their deaths for the cause of ending the Revolution…

just some interesting information i (and probably most people) were never taught in school…

Thank you for the interesting information. What is the name of the book?

To Quell the Terror.

gotta warn you, it is not the best-written book i have ever read. in fact, i think it is one of the worst, at least at the beginning…

but it was very interesting in some places…

he says, for one thing, that there was always so much blood around the guillotine that the “guilty ones” would often slip on it on their way up to it… and there was no real way to get totally rid of the awful smell…

i guess that kind of goes w/o saying but… his descirption of it all… somehow makes the whole hting… all the more… disgusting/unbleievable./horrible… … etc…

Thanks. :slight_smile:

I found a review of the book by Michael Dodd, OCD, a member of the Institute of Carmelite Studies. At the time the review was published in the journal Spiritual Life he was the Midwest Vocation director for the Discalced Carmelite Washington Province.

He mentions that the book is a fictionalized account, but that the author made an effort to point out when straying from the historical record.

Moving back and forth between an account of the progress of the Revolution and its impact on religious life and the Carmel in particular, Bush builds a dramatic tension that makes this an enjoyable read. Each of the nuns becomes a person with her own character, colored by the author’s admiration, but still human: Madame Pelras (Sr. Marie Henriette of Divine Providence) had entered Carmel from an active community because “she feared her natural beauty might prove a danger in a congregation where she was constantly exposed to the outside world” (p. 62).

This amusing note is cast in a different light when we discover that it was she who, at the Tribunal’s reading of their condemnation, forced the judges to admit that the nuns were being slain because of their “attachment to religion” (p. 63). Given the ambiguities surrounding the deaths of those caught up in great political upheavals, it has sometimes been argued that the victims were not true martyrs, that is, they did not die bearing witness to the faith but rather for some other reason. Madame Pelras obtained clarity on this point from her judges. One has the sense that she was willing to die a martyr of the faith but would have felt differently about being merely a political victim.

The book contains photographs of the important sites, copies of works of art produced by the martyrs, and poems and songs composed by them before and during their trial that help bring to life this amazing story.

findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3885/is_200107/ai_n8990537/pg_2/?tag=content;col1

About a year and half ago, a screenwriter named Barbara Nicolosi mentioned on her blog that there was chance the book could be made into a movie. Apparently she has been doing research and writing over the past few years to do just that. However, her blog entry promised updates and I couldn’t find any. :frowning:
churchofthemasses.blogspot.com/2008/01/project-news.html

VERY strange because nowhere in the book does the author say it is at all fictionalized…

he cites many sources of actual witnesses…

i will look the book over again but doubt i will find anything about any part of it being fiction…

are we speaking of the same book??

Hey, I haven’t read the book, so don’t take my word as having any weight. I’m just reporting what the reviewer wrote.

For example:

The author relies heavily on the nuns’ archives and especially on the account of the series of events written by Marie of the Incarnation, although he points out inconsistencies in her work and realizes she is intentionally presenting her sisters in the holiest light. This work is the apparent source of some of the conversations and inner dialogues produced in the book. Some may wonder if the author has taken too much liberty in asserting the inner states of the martyrs, but he usually produces their own written (or reported) words to support his suggestions.

I think the reviewer is merely saying that the book is not a historian’s work.

Note that Francis Poulenc composed an opera Dialogues of the Carmelites reflecting this event in 1953. In the final scene the nuns march to the scaffold, singing Salve Regina which grows weaker as successive voices drop out at the swish of the guillotine blade.

I read a quote about something similar in the “Catholic Quotes” in the right column here.
Is this the same group?

16 Teresian Martyrs of Compiegne

Quite moving.

OK, i remember that… it WAS kinda strange the way that one nun’s account… no her accounts (plural) didn’t jibe with … others …

i couldn’t u/stand that… and frankly, i think he shouldn’t have included her account(s) because of that…

like i said, it was not a “good” book, meaning it wasn’t so easy to understnd in some places… and then there were too many unnecessary details in some places with necessary details not included… strange… I got so exasperated w/ the author, began skipping around…

I was kinda wondering exactly how the Revolution ended? the nuns were offering up sacrifices (themselves) long before the day of their execution… for the cause of ending the so called revolution… (I like to call it a de-volution…:eek:))

i don’t have time to “gain access” to that site… could you tell us the most important parts?

i think it is interesting that Robspierre got the guillotine… and some others in the “new govt”…

Marat was murdered by a woman who must have known she’d go to the guillotine herself for the crime… which she did.

very strange period in history…

and yet is the butchery of abortion any different… ? it is worse… more lives lost than all wars put together… probably all wars since the year 200…

It is unfathomable to me why human beings can’t live in relative harmony together…

Why do they always seemto want to kill each other??

If you don’t like violence, don’t read history books… :eek:

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