By the time the Terror kicked in, living in Paris was no longer a safe option for those who'd been at all involved with the opposition party and many retired to the nearby countryside. One very popular place was Auteuil, where Madame Helvetius ran her famous salon where philosophers, mathematicians, poets and politicians gathered.
Both Sophie de Grouchy Olympe de Gouges moved there.
But of course one still had business in Paris.
Olympe had to travel there to visit her printer, and make sure her latest tracts were pasted and distributed where she wanted them to be.
This meant first getting to Paris, and then through the busy streets to her printer's in the 6th arrondissement.
This is Olympe's own description of one particular trip to Paris from Auteuil:
I live in the countryside. I left Auteuil this morning at eight and winded my way to the road that goes from Paris to Versailles where one can often find those famous roadside cafés that inexpensively gather passers by. No doubt an unlucky star was pursuing me that morning. I reached the gate and I could not even find the sad, privileged, hackney coach. I rested on the steps of that insolent edifice that secreted clerks. Nine o’clock chimed and I continued on my way; I spotted a coach, took my place, and arrived at a quarter past nine, according to two different watches, at the Pont-Royal. I took the hackney coach and flew to my printer, rue Christine, for I could only go so early in the morning: when I am proofreading there is always something to do, if the pages are not too tight or too full.
This is where I live blog about my new book project, an intellectual biography of three French Revolutionary women philosophers.