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
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
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."|
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
|"I must go in. The fog is rising."|
Gertrude Stein - Poet
|"What is the answer?" (When no reply was forthcoming) "In that case, what is the question?"|
Anna Pavlova - Ballerina
|"Get my swan costume ready"|
Louisa May Alcott - Writer
|"Is it not meningitis?"|
Martha Beck - Murderess