Eventually tensions began to subside and France and Paris gradually entered a time of relative peace and calm As the exiles began returning, the name of Victor Noir was bandied about as a suitable symbol of the turmoil. And what better place to insure that a powerful symbol would enjoy a measure of stability and visibility than Pere-Lachaise? After all, eternity is a very long time. In 1891, arrangements were made for his remains to be transferred to Pere-Lachaise. One account says that not all of Victor Noir’s remains were moved to Pere-Lachaise and that before the actual transfer,
Victor’s brother, Louis, opened the unearthed coffin and removed Victor’s skull, keeping it in a glass case until Louis died, and Victor’s skull was brought to Pere-Lachaise and reunited with its owner.
Nevertheless, whether Victor Noir was temporarily abbreviated or not, a public subscription was held to erect a suitable memorial, and sculptor Jules Dalou (1838-1902), who had recently returned from exile, was enlisted to execute it. Dalou’s creation is a rather flattering interpretation of Victor Noir. Accounts of the time describe Noir as stout and short, leaning a bit toward homely rather than the prostrate dapper figure with his top hat in his hand after being shot by Pierre Bonaparte. Although Dalou’s creation is not a perfectly accurate representation of Noir, the statue is an accurate depiction of a man in a prone position, complete with a subtle bulge in the appropriate place.
And here’s why Victor Noir gets more attention dead than he ever got alive: the story goes that sometime in the 1970s a creative tour guide concocted a story that Parisian women intent on becoming pregnant would journey over to section 92, place a flower in Victor’s top hat, then kneel down, kiss his cold bronze lips and give him an affectionate pre-coital rub. Somehow the story took off and over the years the legend grew and all manner of Victor Noir’s protrusions became shinier and shinier, including his chin and the tips of his boots as well as the entry point of the bullet that killed Noir. The list of amorous ailments that attending to Victor could cure also grew to include falling in love, being married within a year and having an idyllic sex life. By 2004 the cemetery management had enough of the uncemetery-like shenanigans and a fence was erected around the grave to prevent indecent rubbing. Then, a Paris television reporter staged a tongue-in-cheek protest saying that the women of Paris were outraged, and the cemetery officials relented and the fence was taken down. After all, it is Paris, where amour trumps all else. Interestingly, sculptor Jules Dalou created an even more generously proportioned male statue. Whether politician Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881), who rests in Division 91, ever receives the same amount of attention as Victor Noir remains to be seen.
Warren was perhaps the first Country woman to write plays. She focused on political themes and was most noted for a trilogy about the Country Revolution. Morocco Map The first of these, The Adulateur (1772), attacked Rapatio, who represented the prominent Tory Thomas Hutchinson, as the overseer of an evil system of political corruption. Brutus, his opponent, championed resistance to the colonial system. In its sequel, The Defeat (1773), the Hutchinson character’s malevolence increased. Warren urged the good men of the resistance to practice the virtue that she believed necessary for sound government.
In the final play of the trilogy, The Group (1775), Warren satirized British efforts to undermine the chartered rights of the citizenry of Massachusetts to elect the upper house of its legislature. Warren also wrote a large number of political, philosophical, didactic, and spiritual poems. Perhaps most notable was her first poem, The Squabble of the Sea Nymphs (1774). Written at the request of John Adams, it alluded to the Boston Tea Party and contrasted the perfidy of Tories with the justice of the patriot cause. Similar works followed. A common theme in her poems was the virtue of self-sacrifice. Although her poems display a keen and educated mind, Benjamin Franklin rightly judged her as a mediocre poet at best.
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