Saturday, March 24, 2012

Femme's finals words....Last words of famous women

The other day my husband sent me a link to this, a compilation of manly last words spoken by famous men. Needless to say, I loved this whole idea and so it sent me on a search of last words of history's famous (and infamous) women.  When it comes to men, there are endless sources of last words.  However,  I was shocked to find that there really are so few resources of the final quotes of women.  And regarding women of color, I simply couldn't find ANY.  

Last words are both intriguing and meaningful.  Intriguing because sometimes they're spoken with no knowledge of what's to come.  And meaningful, because it's the final opportunity to speak one's peace.    Some are quite poignant knowing that death is imminent and, in some cases, at hand.  I completely excluded suicide quotes because I wanted to avoid even the slightest appearance of romanticizing such a death.  

So here is a list of all the "last words" of women of note that I could find.  As a woman who has spends her life using up words like oxygen, I can only hope that whatever my last words may be, just let them be kind.  


Marie Antoinette - Queen of France

"Pardon me Sir, I did not do it on purpose"  
Spoken to her executioner after stepping on his foot.


Joan Crawford - Actress
"Dammit!  Don't you dare ask God to help me!"
 In response to her housekeeper's prayer.


Frida Kahlo - Artist
"I hope the exit is joyful and hope never to come back"


Queen Elizabeth I - British Queen
"All of my possessions for a moment of time!"

Talulah Bankhead - Actress
"Codeine....Bourbon"


Anne Boleyn - Second wife of Henry VIII
"The executioner is, I believe, very expert, and my neck is very slender"


Edith Louisa Cavell - British nurse and patriot executed by a German firing squad.

"Standing, as I do, in the view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough.  I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone" 


Ethel Rosenberg - American Communist convicted of espionage and executed.  
"We are the first victims of American facism!"

Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Poet
"Beautiful"
In response to her husband's query regarding how she felt.


Lady Nancy Astor - First woman MP in Britain
"Am I dying or is this my birthday?"
Upon seeing her family gathered around her bed.

Coco Chanel - Designer and Style Icon
"You see, this is how you die."

Jane Austen - Writer
"Nothing but death"
When asked by her sister if there was anything she wanted.

Amelia Earhart - Pioneer Pilot
"Gas is running low.  We are on the line 157-337.  We will repeat this message.  We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles.  Wait."
Radio Transmission

Mata Hari - Exotic Dancer and Accused Spy
"Harlot, yes.  But traitor, NEVER!"

Charlotte Bronte - Writer
"Oh, I am not going to die, am I?  He will not separate us, we have been so happy."
Spoken to her husband of 9 months




Emily Dickinson - Writer
"I must go in.  The fog is rising."

"What is the answer?"  (When no reply was forthcoming) "In that case, what is the question?"


Anna Pavlova - Ballerina 
"Get my swan costume ready"


"Is it not meningitis?"




Martha Beck - Murderess
"My story is a love story, but only those who are tortured by love can understand what I mean.  I was pictured as a fat, unfeeling woman.  True, I am fat, but if that is a crime, how many of my sex are guilty?  I am not unfeeling, stupid or moronic.  My last words and my last thoughts are:  Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
Made before her execution.










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12 comments:

  1. That was fun and interesting!
    Deb

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  2. What a fascinating, fascinating post. Their words are so varied and in some cases so surprising. "Get my swan costume ready!" Queen Elizabeth's were the biggest surprise.

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  3. Pretty interesting, especially in light of the medical care available at the time some of them died. That's quite a racy picture of Mata Hari.

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  4. What a wonderful post Serene - I felt a little sad that so many were before an execution - a sign no doubt that that is more often when people's last words are recorded.

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  5. Thanks for these, Serene! Charlotte Bronte's is just heartbreaking. And I always knew that Gertrude Stein was my kind of gal.

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  6. Serene this is so fascinating!! Love to see the images of these women and their parting words.

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena
    The 2012 Artist Series

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  7. What a great post. It is something I haven't thought about before.

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  8. So interesting!! Great post Serene!
    Have a great week!

    Jeannie

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  9. such an interesting and thought provoking post! thanks for sharing it Serene!

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  10. I have just installed iStripper, so I can watch the best virtual strippers on my desktop.

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! ~Serene