Louise MichelLouise Michel
French Anarchist Agitator
1830 – 1905 A.D.

Louise Michel, a French anarchist agitator, called the Red Virgin of Montmartre. She was born at the chateau of Vroncourt, the daughter of a serving-maid, Marianne Michel, and the son of hte house, Etienne Charles Demahis.

Having received a liberal education from her grandfather, she went to Paris in 1866 and taught in a school in the Montmartre quarter, where she threw herself ardently into works of charity and revolutionary politics.

During the siege of Paris she joined the ambulance service, and untiringly preached resistance to the Prussians. On the establishment of the Commune, she joined the National Guard, offered to shoot Theirs, and suggested the destruction of Paris by way of vengeance for its surrender.

She was with the Communards who made their last stand in the cemetary [sic] of Montmartre, and when she was brought before the council of war in 1871 she defied her judges and defended the Commune. She was sent as a convict to New Caledonia, among her companions being the journalist and politician, Henri Rochefort, who remained her friend till the day of her death.

Returning to Paris after the amnesty of 1880 she again suffered imprisonment for political offenses, and for making inflammatory speeches. After living several years in England, she returned to France, and was lecturing on behalf of anarchist propaganda when she died at Marseilles in 1905.


Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.