A is for Agustina de Aragón

To begin with: a little bit of history.


Remember Napoleon? He decided to take over Europe. It would have been foolish to neglect his neighbours, the Spanish.

La guerra de la independencia (the War of Independence or Peninsular War) began in 1808, lasted six years and brought plenty of death and devastation to Spain, as well as a period of famine in 1812. There was one good thing that came out of this war, and this was the series of sketches and drawings that Goya named Los desastres de la guerra. Through them he showed the horrors of war as well as a few acts of valour and hope, such as the one shown here, featuring Agustina de Aragon.


¡Qué valor!
Agustina de Aragón by Francisco de Goya.
Francisco de Goya [Public domain], undefined



Agustina de Aragón was the wife of Joan Roca i Vilaseca, a corporal serving in the artillery during the war of independence.  On June 15 1808, having come to bring food to the troops in Zaragoza, Agustina found herself in the middle of the battlefield, watching all the Spanish soldiers go down. Realising that they were about to lose to the French troops, she loaded a canon, lit the fuse and dispersed the French men.


Agustina was soon named sublieutenant and fought to defend her country alongside the Spanish men. Her brave actions and encouraging cries during battle turned her into a legend. Having survived prison and many a battle, she died at the age of 71. Not bad.