Posts Tagged ‘Louis XVI’

Demolition of the Bastille by Hubert Robert

The Bastille: in the shadow of a fortress

Truth be told, I miss the Bastille. The current column that stands where the old fortress towered above passersby seems very bland by comparison. What a building the old Bastille must have been! But 18th century Parisians had a grimmer take than I on the fortress. It was used as a weapon and ammunition depot […]



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Madame du Barry returns to Versailles

Or at least this beautiful portrait of her. The Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon purchased it at auction a few days ago for the equivalent of $140,000. The royal favorite is represented here at the age of 26 by Court painter François-Hubert Drouais. She is dressed as Flora, goddess of flowers. […]



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16th of May 1770: wedding of the Dauphin Louis-Auguste and Archduchess Marie-Antoinette

Louis-Auguste was 15, Marie-Antoinette 14. A marriage that began with mutual distrust and disdain, and ended in the closest of bonds… For details on the marriage certificate, misspellings, ink stains and all, see this post, and also this one on 18th century bridal attire



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An interview of Elena Maria Vidal, author of Madame Royale

CD: Welcome back to Versailles and More, Elena, and thank you for kindly agreeing to discuss your book, Madame Royale, for our readers. The novel begins during Madame Royale’s exile in England. This works very well from a dramatic standpoint, and selfishly, I was delighted to see your book begin where and when mine ended. […]



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Madame Royale, a novel by Elena Maria Vidal

The French Restoration (1814-1830) is an era woefully neglected by historical novelists. Fortunately, Elena Maria Vidal helps fill this void with her Madame Royale. Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte de France, Duchesse d’Angoulême, was the eldest child of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, and later the last Queen of France, albeit for a few minutes, until her husband’s abdication on […]



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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The Salon of the Grand Couvert at Versailles: the room where Marie-Antoinette did not have dinner

Another Versailles update: the Salon of the Grand Couvert has been restored to its past splendor, as part of the ongoing refurbishment of the entire palace. The Salon of the Grand Couvert is part of the Queen’s Grand Apartment. Couvert means place setting in French, and this is the room where the royal couple had […]



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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 […]



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 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 […]