Posts Tagged ‘Madame Campan’

Marie Antoinette van Meytens

Marie Antoinette’s unsung legacy to French food: the croissant

If you watched Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, you know that the Queen liked to be surrounded by pyramids of gorgeous pastries and followed a strict macaroon-and-champagne diet. Or did she? Well, according to contemporary accounts, not at all. The etiquette required the King and Queen to take some of their meals in public, in front […]



Boucher winter sleigh ride

Marie-Antoinette’s sleigh rides

Christmas in the 18th century was not the holiday we know these days. Of course, the religious celebration of the holiday of the Nativity  of Christ was the same, but gifts, know as étrennes, were not exchanged until the 1st of January. Yet people liked to take advantage of the pleasures of the season. Marie-Antoinette, […]



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 […]



Madame Victoire Roslin

Madame Victoire and Lent

I told you we would return to the daughters of Louis XV before long.  So let’s go back once again to Madame Campan’s remembrances of Madame Victoire: Madame Victoire, kind, sweet-tempered and affable, lived with the most amiable simplicity within a society that cherished her; she was adored by her household. Without quitting Versailles, without […]



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 de Tourzel

Another great post by Elena at Tea at Trianon on the Marquise (later Duchess) de Tourzel, who became governess to the royal children after the emigration of Madame de Polignac following the storming of the Bastille. Elena reminds us that Marie-Antoinette wrote the Marquise on that occasion: “I entrusted my children to friendship. I entrust […]



Marie Antoinette Wertmuller

Marie-Antoinette’s best likeness

This portrait shows Marie-Antoinette in 1788, when she was 33. It was painted by Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller, a Swede who was a member of the Royal Academy in Paris. Indeed, according to Madame Campan‘s Memoirs, this is, along with the more famous portrait of the Queen with her children by Madame Vigee-Lebrun, the best likeness […]



Marie Therese 1780 Troy

Let them eat cake?

That is one of the questions I am often asked: did Marie-Antoinette really say Let them eat cake? Actually the full sentence is French is Qu’ils mangent de la brioche! or, literally, Let them eat brioche! I guess cake was more familiar to English speakers than brioche, a form of French bread enriched with eggs […]



Marie-Antoinette: why “The Austrian Woman?”

That was what Marie-Antoinette was called even before she set foot on French soil, a few months short of her fifteenth birthday: l’Autrichienne, “The Austrian Woman.” One must keep in mind that Austria was a hereditary enemy of France, a rival in the struggle for European and world dominance. The name was always meant as […]