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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Affair of the Necklace

On August 15, 1785, the “Affair of the Necklace” broke upon France, just as Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were about to attend the Mass of the Assumption, the patronal solemnity of the realm. Cardinal Louis de Rohan, who was supposed to offer the Mass, was publicly arrested in his pontifical robes for his part in […]

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An example of Versailles furniture

A magnificent example of Louis XVI style, crafted by Riesener for Marie-Antoinette’s private apartments. Note the astonishing level of detail, down to the key.

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The 10th of August 1792: the fall of the French monarchy

The 10th of August 1792 is one of the key dates of the French Revolution. Over the three years that had followed Bastille Day, the uneasy cohabitation between Louis XVI and the revolutionaries had slowly disintegrated. The attempt of the royal family in 1791 to flee to the Austrian border had ended in failure. Overnight […]

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Louise de La Vallière: Mistress of the Sun King

Louis XIV did not always have good taste when it came to women. Witness the nasty, (literally) poisonous Marquise de Montespan. However one of his other mistresses stood out by her grace and dignity. I am thinking of Louise de la Vallière, the heroine of Sandra Gulland‘s new novel, Mistress of the Sun. Louise (1664-1710) […]

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Van Gogh Sunflowers Sheramy Bundrick

Sunflowers, by Sheramy Bundrick: to be published in 2009

On Tuesday I went to Charles-De-Gaulle Airport and noticed painted sunflowers everywhere. I reflected on how great an idea that was to cheer up an otherwise dreary place, and was reminded of Sheramy and her novel. And the next day I visited her (beautiful) blog and read this: I am thrilled to announce that my […]

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Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

Cinderella at World of Royalty posts two trailers of the film The Duchess, to be released in September. The more recent one rather shamelessly attempts to exploit the enduring popularity of Princess Diana by drawing a parallel between her and the Duchess of Devonshire, née Lady Georgiana Spencer (the two women were indeed related.) Both […]

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Encore Marie-Antoinette: Trianon, by Todesbonden

For the second time in a few months I find a metal ensemble with an interest in Marie-Antoinette. This attests to the late Queen’s status as a pop culture icon. I already mentioned Jucifer’s L’Autrichienne. Now Todesbonden is releasing a debut album titled Sleep Now, Quiet Forest. If you follow this link, you can listen […]

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The anniversay of Oradour-sur-Glane

Thanks to Richard de Brantigny for remembering this somber anniversary. Shortly after D-Day, the SS Division Das Reich massacred the 700 inhabitants of the village of Oradour-sur-Glane. The women and children were rounded up inside the Church, which was then set on fire. This atrocity may have been ordered by the SS hierarchy in retaliation […]

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Happy (French) Mother’s Day

A delightful Fragonard, The Good Mother, to illustrate this post. Isn’t it a bit late for Mother’s Day? Well, in France it is celebrated on the last Sunday in May. I will not be able to visit my own Mom, who is currently taking a well deserved vacation in Spain. So happy Mother’s Day to […]

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Encore Venice

Yes, I found the teensy cable that allows me to download my pictures into my laptop. So here they are! I left out the “big” views, which I think are so well represented by the Canalettos (Canaletti?) I used on my first and second posts. Of course when I look at these pictures, I can’t wait […]

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