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Archive for the ‘French Revolution’ Category

Louis XVI farewell to his family

21st of January 1793: death of Louis XVI on the guillotine

As usual on this blog, I will strive to recount this dramatic event through the testimony of eyewitnesses. Let us simply remember that, following the storming of the royal palace of the Tuileries on the 10th of August 1792, Louis XVI and his family (Marie-Antoinette, their two children, Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte and Louis-Charles, and his sister Madame […]

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16th of October 1793: execution of Marie-Antoinette

After the fall of the monarchy on the 10th of August 1792, the dethroned Queen was imprisoned in the Tower of the Temple, along with her husband, Louis XVI, their children and Madame Elisabeth, the King’s younger sister. The following December, Louis XVI stands trial before the National Convention, the elected body that now governs […]

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Emma, Lady Hamilton, seen by Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

I enjoy following Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, one the most famous and successful portraitists of her time, to the private apartments of Queen Marie-Antoinette at Versailles, to Regency England, or to the salons of Napoléon’s sisters. Today we will accompany Madame Vigée-Lebrun to Italy, where she emigrated as early as 1789, at the onset of the French […]

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AE Instant History Expert French Revolution

A giveaway: win the entire A&E Instant History Expert series

A&E Home Entertainment has just released a new line of six titles – HISTORY INSTANT EXPERT, offering “on-the-spot knowledge to students and lifelong learners on a wide variety of topics. Each DVD has bonus features – quizzes, study guides, activities and more.” Here is more information on each title, provided by A&E: FRENCH REVOLUTION: The […]

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The Temple: Napoléon’s political jail

For the King relates the circumstances of the Rue Nicaise conspiracy, a failed attempt to assassinate Napoléon Bonaparte on Christmas Eve 1800. Indeed Napoléon had a surfeit of political enemies. They fell into two opposite camps: the Chouans were Royalists and wanted to restore King Louis XVIII to the throne, while the Jacobins yearned to […]

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The Chouans, Jean Chouan, the Catholic and Royal Army and the fall of Napoléon

On Christmas Eve 1800, a group of Chouans, royalist insurgents, detonated a bomb along Napoléon Bonaparte’s path. This assassination attempt provides the backdrop of my new novel, For the King. Readers have asked me for more information about them. Why the name Chouans? What drove them to political violence? Were they a major political force? […]

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The aftermath of Bastille Day: what happened after the 14th of July 1789

I can never walk by the Place de la Bastille without thinking of the mighty fortress that used to stand there. A medieval oddity at what was then the city limit. Yes, I wish the huge walls were still there, towering over me. I recounted the events of that fateful summer day of 1789 in […]

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Girodet Jean Baptiste Belley

Citizen Jean-Baptiste Belley: from slavery to the Convention Nationale

This Portrait of Citizen Jean-Baptiste Belley by the famous French artist Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, caught my eye, even though I knew nothing of the model. This painting is – literally – revolutionary. Not because it represents a Black man. Representations of men and women of African descent in early-modern European paintings were not uncommon, […]

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Josephine de Beauharnais Bonaparte Prudhon

Joséphine and Bonaparte: a romance

Every marriage is complex, this one more than most. At first glance, the 26 year old General, with his angular face and brusque manners, and the graceful queen of the brilliant but corrupt demi-monde of the late Revolution seem to form an odd couple. Dominique de Villepin, in Le soleil noir de la puissance, notes […]

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La Conciergerie, from royal palace to revolutionary prison

I first thought of the view of the Conciergerie as a background for my website and posted it with this idea. It fits my first novel, since the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution is jailed there, and the second one, since Roch Miquel, my protagonist in For the King works at the Préfecture de […]

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