Talk:Olympe de Gouges

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Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

WikiProject Biography Assessment Drives

Needs work and more citations, but basically a B.

Want to help write or improve biographies? Check out WikiProject Biography Tips for writing better articles. —Yamara 06:38, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I translated the Jules Michelet quote, presumably originally in French, (along with most of the rest of this article) from the German-language article. I cannot find the original French of the quote or a previously published English translation, and my German is not so great. If anyone can find the French original or a more reliable translation, that would be nice. Jmabel 09:20, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Email from Françoise Zylberberg[edit]

I just received the following email from Françoise Zylberberg; I don't really have a lot of time to work on this article right now, but I've put it here for anyone who may wish to follow up. I've emaile her and suggested that she open an account and edit this article directly, but I'm putting the information here for anyone else who might want to follow up. In any case, it should make it clear that we have permission to quote from the relevant site and use the pictures. (The attachments were PDFs, hence not very useful for extracting an image; I've saved them and can forward them on request if someone wants them.) -- Jmabel | Talk 17:58, May 15, 2005 (UTC)

Unless I am wrong, you are the author of a web article about Marie-Olympe de Gouges which may need to be updated :
  • most recent bio (Dec 2003), the most complete too, by Olivier BLANC is Please also see the two attachments of present e-mail for an English version of said book back-cover,
  • Attached prospectus reproduces the book front-cover and provide what is, according to Olivier Blanc, the best portrait of MOdG (what you show is not MOdG but a decorative item selected ramdomly by another book designer),
  • is an English article you may wish to quote, and use. Initially written in French before VIENET met Olivier BLANC and invited him to update its 1981 biography of MOdG, in its English version it incorporates some fresh details. So the later English version by Donald NICHOLSON-SMITH is more accurate than the French one. DNS is now completing a full translation of MOdG bio by Olivier Blanc.
MOdG is an interesting case of a female writer (legitimately) celebrated by feminists for her <Declaration of women’s rights>, by democrats for her other anticipations (jury, new marriage contract, support of destitute people, against slavery, etc.) but basically nobody among the aforesaid feminists and/or democrats wants to explain which holy cows of the French Revolution cut her head, while she was probably pregnant, after a 15 min trial without lawyer. You may help.
Best regards,
Francoise Zylberberg.

Questionable edits[edit]

[1] anonymously removed "As she had little formal schooling and was illiterate, she must have dictated these to someone literate" and [2] changed her mother from "a seller of finery goods" into "a washerwoman", which hardly fits in with the description of a petit bourgeois family. Both changes were made without comment. No sources cited, but none cited for what was replaced, either. - Jmabel | Talk 03:49, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm guessing "washerwoman" comes from [3], on the site of Sunshine for Women, neither a notably good nor a notably bad source. Does anyone have anything solid on this? I don't have anything solid either way on whether she was literate: my suspicion is that it is unknown. Her opponents played up her supposed illiteracy, her supporters denied it. Someone who wants to do some real research should be able to find something citable on each side of the question. - Jmabel | Talk 04:01, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

And now "at the age of 18 she fled her husband for Paris" has been changed without citation to "when her husband died she moved to Paris and took the name of Olympe de Gouges." Since nothing here is terribly well-cited, I'm not jumping in, but if someone finally decides to do some serious work here, this is another thing to sort out. - Jmabel | Talk 04:50, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

"Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen"[edit]

I guess she didn't understand the meaning of the words MAN and CITIZEN, in "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen", taking them as they meant solely the MALE HUMAN BEINGS and the MALE CITIZENS. A serios misunderstanding that cost her neck. A woman neck, not a male neck. 03:07, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

She did understand what it was as a Declaration fo the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Women in that time wernt french citizens at all, only men were. If you read her Declaration, it is giving more specific rights to women, as they had close to none.

France at the time was extremely male dominated. Females didn't have any rights and I don't believe that "Rights of Man and of the Citizen" refered in any way to all French citizens including women. Refering to "man" as the entire human race didn't come intil much later. In fact, I don't believe women were granted citizenship until much later as well. Carter, 21:38, 7 January 2007

Reason of her death & Introduction[edit]

I am not an expert about Olympe de Gouges life... But...

In the English version it is written: "she challenged the oppression of male authority and the notion of male-female inequality. She lost her life to the guillotine due to her revolutionary ideas." It seems like she die because of being feminist.

In the French version... it seems more that she has been condemned to death because she challenged Marat, Robespierre, and the girondin .

The French introduction say she died executed, and that at her death she let lot of writing for the women/men equality. So... ("à sa mort sur l'échafaud en 1793. Elle a laissé de nombreux écrits en faveur des droits civils et politiques des femmes et de l'abolition de l'esclavage des Noirs")

Maybe the introduction has to be changed.Froggy helps ;-) 15:58, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

A quote in a paper after her death said that she had been killed as she had forgotten her place as a woman.

At the time it didn't take much to end up on the guillotine, it was the terror after all, and most of those who started it also ended up without their head. Aesma (talk) 16:28, 5 June 2013 (UTC)


Recently added without citation "Gouges was also a flaming homosexual, and had many partners throughout her life." This should either be cited or removed. - Jmabel | Talk 05:53, 22 November 2006 (UTC)


Is it really correct to use the word feminist for someone who lived at the 18th century? Isn't it an anachronism? Aaker 19:55, 3 July 2007 (UTC)


What word should we use then? I think feminist is just OK! --Ludovicapipa yes? 20:31, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't know actually. Is there no word that they used in those days for female freedom fighters that is still in use? Aaker 09:22, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
It would be very interesting to find whether there is a word, or there was one. Don´t know how to find out. For us, she is/was a feminist though. She was also a revolutionary.

--Ludovicapipa yes? 11:50, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

birth year: 1745 or 48?[edit]

Some online sources also say she was born in 1745; however this article references both dates and the French version of her page says only 1748. Does anyone know which is correct? - IstvanWolf 10:45, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Olivier Blanc[edit]

J'ai donné une contribution hier sur Olympe de Gouges, or elle a été censurée. Je vous rappelle que je suis le principal biographe d'Olympe de Gouges et que mon premier livre sur le sujet a été publié en 1989, réédité en 1989 et une nouvelle version, avec des augmentations importantes a été publiée en 2003 aux editions rené Viénet. J'ai également publié les écrits politiques d'Olympe de Gouges publiés en deux volumes aux editions Côté femmes (1993). Ma biographie a été traduite en allemand et c'est à partir de la version allemande que Paul Noack a publié, en Allemagne, sur le même sujet en utilisant mes travaux. Or dans votre notice, vous vous référez uniquement à Mr. Noack : ce n'est pas sérieux: vous devriez diversifier vos sources et au mois citer mes propres travaux réalisés à partir des archives françaises. D'autre part, le portrait que vous publiez a été reproduit sans mon autorisation, car je possède les droits de ce tableau qui est à Paris. Je vous demande donc des explications sur la censure dont j'ai été l'objet. Olivier Blanc (Paris) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 4 February 2008 (UTC)


The following paragraphs are garbled:

possess equally the right to mount the speaker's platform."

That same year, in response to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, she wrote the Déclaration des droits de la Femme et de la Citoyenne ("Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Citizen"), the first declaration of

been guillotined.

In addition, later on the page there is excess whitespace like this:

and then more text. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


It was performed as L'Esclavage des nègres ("Slavery of the negroes")

Translating the word as "negro" is an understatement. (Try using it in Paris and see how far you have to run for life.) (talk) 04:55, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

"Reading Olympe de Gouges"[edit]

2013 Palgrave book: Reading Olympe de Gouges by Carol L. Sherman DOI:10.1057/9781137343062 Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 21:29, 29 October 2013 (UTC)