Biography

    Marie Jean Philipon, the daughter of  Pierre Gratien Philipon, an engraver, was born in Paris on March 17, 1754. Madame Roland was the only surviving child of seven children. She was very educated, and was  fluent in French Latin, Italian and English. She was also an acclomplished musician and dancer. As a young girl, Madame Roland had a desire to be a nun. As a one year trial, her parents sent her to the Convent of the Ladies of the Congregation in Faubourg Saint - Marcel, where she met Cannet sisters, who became her lifelong friends. However, Roland became convinced that the monastic life was not right fo her. Madame Roland's optimism temporarly shattered when her mother died in June 1775. It was during these times which she began to read the works of Jean Jacques Rousseou, who had a big impression on Roland.
     In 1781, Marie Jean Philipon married Jean-Marie Roland, who was an influential supporter of the French Revolution, and her career was closely identified with his political life. In addition, Roland became a great help to her husband. She helped edit his documents, and did not only become his secretary, but his copyist, editor, and researcher.  During the French Revolution, she became infolved in Parisian literary and political life, and would host salons in which Brissot, Buzot, Petion, Robespierre and other Revolutionary leaders would attend. Moreover, Madame Roland believed that the French Revolution would only be successful if the monarchy was abolished, and a republican government was put in place in France. After the fall of the Girondists, Madame Roland was arrested and imprisoned on June 1, 1793. Additionally, she refused to to agree with various plannings of an escape for her. While she was in prison, she spent time writing her memoirs, which has 4 volumes. After a trial before the Revolutionary Tribunal, and being accused of treason,  Madame Roland was guillotined and bravely met death on November 8, 1793. After hearing of her wife's execution, Jean-Marie Roland, Madame Roland's husband, committed suicide.
                      Pages from Madame Roland's memoirs.




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