Posts Tagged ‘Footsteps of Gabrielle’

Vigee Lebrun Marquises Pezay and Rouge

Fashions in Paris before the Revolution

By now you know all about the proper attire required from the ladies of the Court. But the same women, hampered by their cumbersome paniers in Versailles, dressed quite differently, and in my opinion more elegantly, in Paris. Let us listen to the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat: In the capital, […]



Versailles General view

Discovering Versailles in the 18th century

We saw the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat, readying herself for her first visit to Versailles. Especially for a young woman who was going to be presented to the Queen, it was a momentous experience. Let us listen to Gabrielle: The Duchess and I left early on a fine Sunday morning […]



18th century Paris banks of the Seine

Discovering Paris in the 18th century

The year is 1787. In my first novel, Mistress of the Revolution, young provincial Gabrielle de Montserrat arrives in Paris, under the protection of her friend the Chevalier  des Huttes. Let us discover the city with her. Parisians are fond of calling provincials culs-terreux, which literally translates as “dirty asses”, but what struck me in […]



18th century French court dress 1778

Dressing for Court, and preparing to glide…

So far in this series we have followed the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat, to Versailles on several occasions. How was she dressed then? Well, a lady was supposed to look like the fashion plate. The legend translates as “Young lady of quality in great dress, wearing an elegant bonnet or […]



Boilly Peasants

Cottage life in 18th century France

Many thanks to Dani, of A work in Progress, for giving me the idea of this post on the early years of Gabrielle, the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, with her wet nurse, Mamé Laborde. My heroine spent the first years of her life in a cottage similar to the one depicted above by Boilly. […]



Chateau of Anjony Auvergne

From the Convent to the ancestral Chateau…

Gabrielle de Montserrat, the heroine of my first novel, Mistress of the Revolution, is eleven years old. She has been raised first by her wet nurse, then by the nuns of the Benedictine Convent of Vic, in Auvergne. Her father has died, and she does not remember anything of her mother. Then one fine day, […]



Versailles Queen s Bedchamber

Queen Marie-Antoinette’s Bedchamber at Versailles

The prior post in this series had the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat, presented to Marie-Antoinette. Gabrielle is now part of the Court, though she has not been offered any official position there (yet.) As a presented lady, Gabrielle is admitted to the Queen’s Bedchamber. This room, like the Salon of […]



Versailles Salon of the Nobles

The presentation to Queen Marie-Antoinette at Versailles

The heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat, has arrived in Paris as a teenage widow. The next step is her “presentation” at Court. What were the requirements to be presented at Court? You had to (1) prove that your family had been noble since at least the year 1400, and (2) find […]



Versailles Chapel Royal

Sunday Mass at the Chapel Royal in Versailles

The Chapel Royal at Versailles a wonder, one of the best examples of baroque architecture in France. In Mistress of the Revolution, my heroine, Gabrielle de Montserrat, is presented at Court at the age of seventeen, and she attends Sunday Mass in the Palace of Versailles with her elderly cousin and friend the Duchess d’Arpajon. […]