William Godwin's Diary


In summer 1832, Paris, in common with much of western Europe, was in the grip of a cholera epidemic and the radical nationalist deputy General Lamarque died from the disease on 1 June. Republicans used Lamarque’s funeral procession on the 5th as the opportunity for an uprising and soon took control of much of central Paris. However, unlike Charles X in 1830, Louis-Philippe’s response was effective, travelling to Paris on hearing news of the unrest and rallying the National Guard to the royal cause. By 6 June, the republicans had retreated to a maze of barricaded streets at the centre of the right bank, which were stormed by government soldiers later that day. Around 50 government soldiers and 100 republicans were killed in the fighting and Louis-Philippe’s response was remarkably lenient – the seven death sentences given out to rebels were all commuted to imprisonment. The events of 5-6 June in Paris were later immortalized by Victor Hugo, who witnessed them first hand, in his novel Les Miserables.

See Munro Price, The Perilous Crown: France Between Revolutions, 1814-1848 (London: Macmillan, 2007), pp. 231-5.