Straw of Gold


Not everyone scheduled for guillotine was really rotting in jail. To put it succinctly, “Robespierre was called incorruptible by those who were not.” Girodet, showing us  Mademoiselle Lange as Danae, re-interpretes the myth of Theseus, for gold found its way into prisons of the French Revolution to make the actress’ new lodgings into something more consistent with her previous life style. We know that both her cook and maid followed Mademoiselle Lange to Belhomme, but I am getting off the subject. Mademoiselle Lange was locked up by the Jacobins for her role in the play of François Neufchateau, Pamela or the Rewards of Virtue. What the revolutionaries found offensive in the play was the sentence, “The accusers are the only ones guilty.” The text was not really political, and the actress was in jail more or less as an illustration of the previous statement. Nevertheless, her role in the Parisian fashions is significant, for it was the straw hat that Mademoiselle Lange wore on stage, starring as Pamela, that happened to be the real protagonist of the event, and the name of it was and still is à la Pamela!

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