This memoir of Clément Duval, a famed 19th-century French anarchist and criminal, details his sentence and eventual escape from the “dry guillotine” of the French penal colonies on Devil’s Island. In this remarkable story of survival by self-determination, courage, conviction, and hope, Duval discusses the hellish conditions endured in the penal colonies for 14 years. More than a historical document about the anarchist movement, this memoir serves as a call to action for mindful, conscious people to fight for their rights and stands as a monument to the enduring power of the human spirit.
Clément Duval was an infamous 19th-century French illegalist, propagandist, and anarchist. Michael Shreve is a writer, a translator, and a language teacher. His works include first English translations by Voltaire, Jean Meslier, Marcel Schwob, and John Antoine Nau. Marianne Enckell is an author, an editor, a translator, and a librarian at the International Centre for Research on Anarchism.