Marat was the political
propagandist most able to rouse popular sentiment between 1789-1793.
His paper, The People's Friend (L'Ami du Peuple), allowed
him to build a reputation as a champion of the people. Before
the Revolution, Marat was a celebrated scholar abroad. However,
he had not been received as a serious philosophe in France and
he was bitter about this rejection. The Revolution gave him an
opportunity to get revenge on those who had denied him prestige.
He opposed whomever was in power on the gounds that they had
power, and so would eventually become corrupt. He also persuaded
members of the governing body of France to arm the people of
Paris during the war that began in 1792. These actions earned
him the admiration of all the underdogs in Paris.
He had several unexplainable
illnesses, including sores and uncontrollable twitching. To ease
his pain he took medicinal baths continuously. He was unapolegetic
about his condition and wrote and even received visitors while
he bathed. On July 13, 1793, Marat was murdered in his home by
Charlotte Corday, a country girl who had been brought up in counter-revolutionary
circles and wanted to lash out at one of the Revolution's prominent
figures. Marat's death elevated him to the status of martyr,
and he was laid to rest in a very public spectacle on the 17
of July 1793.