Thermidor Fun Facts Day Ten: Who is the mystery man in Balzac’s story and what does he want?

One of the most gripping accounts of daily life under the Terror is “Un episode sous la Terreur” by Honoré de Balzac (1831). This story opens on a dark, snowy night on January 22, 1793, when a strange man lurks in the shadows and terrifies a little old nun on her way home from a dangerous errand–purchasing sacred hosts at a bakery. Who is the mystery man and what does he want from her?
a. It is Robespierre and he wants to execute her and the other nuns hiding in a garret.
b. It is the executioner Sanson and he seeks a mass for the repose of Louis XVI.
c. It is a revolutionary soldier and he wants to arrest her for participating in Communion during a period when Catholicism was outlawed in France.
d. It is a wounded priest who seeks shelter from the storm and a place to hide.

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