It was early evening when she got into the tumbril that would take her
to the guillotine. Refusing both the services of a juring priest and a seat, she
stood upright, steadying herself over the cobbles by leaning her knees on
the back of the cart. A large crowd, curious to see the virago who could
have perpetrated such a crime, pressed into the rue Saint-Honore to see her
pass. Pierre Notelet's house gave on to the street and he noted, as she passed,
that the skies suddenly darkened and a summer storm shook heavy drops
of rain into the dust. In seconds she was soaked, the scarlet shirt worn by
assassins of the "representatives of the people" clinging to her body. "Her
beautiful face was so calm," he wrote, "that one would have said she was
a statue. Behind her, young girls held each other's hands as they danced.
For eight days I was in love with Charlotte Corday."
—from Simon Schama's Citizens