Movie: How big was the Bastille?


Within a month I hope to publish on Youtube an interesting movie/video explaining how I solved the mystery of how big the Bastille was.  Not an easy task!  In the meantime, you can find primary information in my book “George Washington’s Liberty Key.”  Stay tuned!  www.LibertyKey.US


Famous French Executioner Family


5. Charles Henri-Sanson

The Henri-Sanson  family conducted executions for the French for over 200 years. Known for his part in the Revolutionary Reign of Terror, Charles was a showman who had record attendance numbers for his executions. He was once purportedly told to slow down after conducting 300 back-to-back murders, because the locals were complaining about the stench of blood. Henri-Sanson is famous for speaking out against the French government’s decision to eliminate hanging and make beheading the only form of capital punishment in France. In his prolific writings he argued, “Swords have very often broken in the performance of such executions, and the Paris executioner possesses only two.” The debate he led about the virtues of hanging and beheading led to the adoption of the guillotine as the proper beheading method.

More information about Charles:



Julia Osman’s “Citizen Soldiers and the Key to the Bastille (War, Culture and Society, 1750-1850)”

For those of you who haven’t seen my earlier review of Julia Osman’s book:

Excellent book about how the American Revolution helped transform the French Army and lead to the storming of the Bastille, with the Key a symbol of the relationship between the American and French armies and revolutions! After reading it, I’ve mentioned it as a source for a book I’m writing on George Washington’s Liberty Key:

Howell’s “The Keys of the Bastille of Paris”

In case you haven’t read my earlier Amazon review of this early work on the Bastille keys:

This interesting pamphlet is one of the first works on the Bastille and its keys that I consulted for my own book, “George Washington’s Liberty Key: Mount Vernon’s Bastille Key.” Howell’s small book or pamphlet was first published in 1887 and covers in brief the Bastille, the Storming of the Bastille and subsequent aspects of the French Revolution, the Bastille keys, and the provenance of Howell’s own five Bastille keys. All in all, the pamphlet is interesting in that it shows what information was available in that era to an individual key collector who spent a great deal of time trying to document the history of the Bastille keys he obtained. Unfortunately, there are a number of errors Howell commits while making assertions based upon assumptions in the information-sparse world before the internet. Even with the internet, however, I have not yet been able to find the current location of Howell’s Bastille keys. The library (idea exchange) in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, claims to have no information.