Posts Tagged ‘Louis XVI’

Louis XVIII and Napoléon: the King and the Emperor

In 1800 Louis XVIII was 45. He had been friendly to reform in the beginnings of the French Revolution. But as it took a more radical turn, he had fled at the same time as the royal couple. Only he had succeeded in reaching Brussels when Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were arrested near the border. […]



Versailles-chapel-royal-from-gallery

A virtual visit of the Chapel Royal at Versailles

I was amazed by the quality of the images on the official Versailles site, in particular the gorgeous paintings of the ceiling. You cannot see the Chapel any better, even if you visit Versailles, Most visitors are only admitted to the upper level, where the royal family heard Mass from a central tribune (whence, in […]



Grace Elliott Gainsborough Met

Grace Dalrymple Elliott

I had long wanted to post on this extremely interesting figure, who makes a cameo appearance in my first novel, Mistress of the Revolution. Then a discussion began at Ellen’s Eighteenth Century Worlds on the topic of Grace Elliott and her Journal of my life during the French Revolution. Ellen kindly summarized the discussions  at […]



Louis XVI Temple Garneray

21st of January 1793: execution of Louis XVI

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 […]



Antoine Parmentier by Dumont

Potatoes, the Ancien Regime and the French Revolution

Potatoes, native to the Andes in South America, were introduced in Europe in the mid-17th century. To say that they did not take the Old Continent by storm would be an understatement. When they were cultivated at all, they served as hog feed.  Yet in the course of the 18th century they slowly made their […]



Tsarina Maria Feodorvona Maria Dorothea of Wurtemberg

An imperial visit at Versailles

In the 18th century international travel was far more expensive, dangerous and difficult than we can imagine today, and of course much slower. A princess who married into a foreign court might never see her family again. State visits by foreign monarchs were exceptional affairs. The etiquette of Versailles, while specific on the reception of […]



Tuileries during the French Revolution

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

The 10th of August 1792 is one of the key dates of the French Revolution. Why was the populace of Paris so enraged at the King and Queen? The war on Austria had been declared a few months earlier, and had turned into a military disaster for France. The Austrians and their Prussian allies were […]



Marie Antoinette first childbirth

Marie-Antoinette’s first laying-in

At Versailles, not only the Queen, but princesses of the royal blood were required to give birth in public. Why? To prevent any substitution of the infant in case he was destined to reign. I say “he” by design, because France’s unwritten constitution prevented women to step unto the throne in their own right, though […]



Madame Louise Nattier

Madame Louise, Venerable Mother Thérèse de Saint-Augustin, daughter of Louis XV

Born on July 15, 1737, Louise-Marie was the last of the children of Louis XV and Marie Leszczynska. She was only eleven months old when, with her elder sisters Victoire, Sophie and Thérèse, she left Versailles for the faraway the Abbey of Fontevraud. That is to say she knew of no other world than the […]



Marie Antoinette St Denis

Marie-Antoinette at Saint-Denis

A follow-up on my my prior post on the Chapelle Expiatoire, thanks to a pertinent question by Penny: are the funeral monuments of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette at the Basilica of Saint-Denis good likenesses of the royal couple? First it should be noted that the monuments date from the Restoration of the Bourbons, almost forty […]