Lena Augustinson talks to Naomi Clifford about the affection Louise Michel, a veteran of the Paris Commune, held for London, and the significance of her tour of Lambeth Workhouse at the invitation of one of the Poor Law Guardians.
Louise Michel, feminist, anarchist, poet, ex-convict, playwright and journalist, survived the bloody end of the 1871 Paris Commune and subsequent exile to New Caledonia. She loved London and visited several times. But why was she invited in 1883 to give her opinion on the Lambeth Workhouse?
Featured image: ‘La Barricade’, from Les Communeux, 1871: Types, caractères, costumes (1880), illustrated by Bertall (1820-1882). Paris: E. Plon (Paris). Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, 4-OA-128 (D). Women of the Commune were depicted as angry, ugly, working-class arsonists who deliberately destroyed Paris with fire at the fall of the Commune