Death of Jeanne de la Motte

Staring out my hotel room window, I can’t believe how much has happened since I gained possession of the diamond necklace. I never even imagined this could happen in all my possible scenarios. The necklace was suppose to be the key to my freedom, not to my captivity.

When it came time to pay for the necklace I presented the notes from “Marie Antoinette”, but these Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.12.46 AMproved insufficient. Soon after, the King and Queen were notified and things escalated beyond repair. Rohan was arrested and taken to the Bastille, along with the prostitute Nicole Leguay, Rétaux de Villette, and Count Cagliostro, though it is unclear whether he was involved in the case of not. Later, the King and Queen insisted upon a public trial to defend their honour. As a result, it destroyed the reputation of the Queen, because the public saw her as the guilty party. Sides began to form and I knew stories would unravel. The court found me guilty and sentenced to be whipped, branded and imprisoned. I was condemned to prison for life in the Salpêtrière, but escaped disguised as a boy to make my way to London where, in 1789,Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.12.37 AM I published my memoirs entitled Memoires Justificatifs de La Comtesse de Valois de La Motte. In doing this I appealed to the publics sympathy and attempted to justify my actions while casting blame upon my chief victim, Marie Antoinette.

To this day I still haven’t seen my husband again, nor have I lived the life of freedom I so rightly deserved. I hope the monarchy will rot in hell. I’ve lost blood shed and tears to this cause for this and I now only have one eye. The people are after me, more groups than one, my time is up. I feel myself falling through the sky, the wind rushing through my hair. The hard slap of the cold grey cement is all I remember before things went black.

The date August 23, 1791 now marks the day the thief, rebel, French adventuress, milkmaid, and many other titles, Jeanne de la motte, died.

La Comtesse de Valois de la Motte et Marianne déguisées en paysannes, voyageant à pied, près de Provins en Champagne

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This picture engraved by John Goldar, illustrated by Robert Dodd, and published by J. Bew showcases how much planning and deception was required to achieve my goal of gaining possession to the Diamond Necklace intended for Madame Du Barry and later Marie Antoinette. Alongside Marianne, I disguised myself as a peasant to travel on foot to deliver letters from “Marie Antoinette”. As her fake go between, I required the proper attire to remain desecrate and unsuspicious to people who were both involved and not involved in the operation. As a peasant I appear like the majority of the country. And in doing this I help solidify points made against the monarchy proving the growing power disparity, while also not involving myself personally. Dressing in any other manner could pin me as a radical, or worse, someone who is affiliated with the monarchy. I don’t need any unnecessary setbacks.

During this time period my operation is minute in comparison to those rallying to overthrow the monarchy. The Jacobins are attempting to overthrow the monarchy and in replacement create the Republic. The Club is growing into a nationwide republican movement, with a membership estimated at a half million or more. I have faith that this will solve many issues; however, they promise to deliver unrealistic gains much like the monarchy, which could result in a different yet equally poor government. Given the current development of the country and everyones focus on a new government, I have chosen to instead pursue my own operation, as seen in the picture above. A revolution is coming, and I intend to be rich when it ends. Therefore, I have set myself up for the position of the benefactor of this uprising and not a losing bystander.


Image Source:  Goldar, John, Dodd, Robert. La Comtesse de Valois de la Motte et Marianne déguisées en paysannes, voyageant à pied, près de Provins en Champagne : [estampe], le 7 juin 1790. 1 est. : eau-forte, burin ; 18,5 x 10,5 cm (f.) Notice et cote du catalogue de la Bibliothèque nationale de France [London]. http://purl.stanford.edu/tt151rr8394. (accessed 2016-05-06).