Posts Tagged ‘Marie Antoinette’

La Conciergerie, from royal palace to revolutionary prison

I first thought of the view of the Conciergerie as a background for my website and posted it with this idea. It fits my first novel, since the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution is jailed there, and the second one, since Roch Miquel, my protagonist in For the King works at the Préfecture de […]



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, […]



18th century court gown

18th century court costume and Marie-Antoinette

I saw the Court Pomp and Royal Ceremony exhibition at Versailles on its closing day last June and would have hated to miss it. My expectations were very high, and yet I could not help being somewhat disappointed, not by the quality of the objects on display, which were magnificent, but by their scarcity. I […]



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 […]



Fete Federation Hubert Robert

14th of July 1790: the Festival of the Federation, first anniversary of Bastille Day

Today is the 220th anniversary of Bastille Day. But what about its very first anniversary? I will simply let Gabrielle, the heroine of my first novel, Mistress of the Revolution, recount the events. Just a note: I found the little ditty sung by the sans-culotte in this scene on an engraving of the time. But […]



Marie Antoinette Liotard

The Infanta Queen, the Lisbon Earthquake and Marie-Antoinette

A follow-up on my post on Marie-Anne-Victoire. There are at least two connections between the Infanta Queen and Marie-Antoinette. First, the Queen of Portugal and her husband, King Joseph I, were godparents to the little Archduchess. Of course, this did not mean that they would have attended the baptism and later acted as spiritual guides […]



Eugenie Holding Louis Napoleon Winterhalter

Marie-Antoinette and Eugénie: the Queen and the Empress

Empress Eugénie felt a deep connection between her own destiny and that of Marie-Antoinette. Eugénie’ father was a Spanish grandee. Her maternal ancestry was less aristocratic: her maternal grandfather was a Scottish wine merchant who had settled in Malaga, in Southern Spain. Her mother, the Countess de Montijo, traveled to France and England after her […]



Madame Adelaide Nattier

Madame Adélaïde, Daughter of Louis XV

After the twins Madame Elisabeth and Madame Henriette, Louis XV and Marie Leszczynska had another daughter, Marie-Louise, and two sons, Louis-Ferdinand and Philippe. Marie-Louise and Philippe both died in childhood, an all too commonplace tragedy at the time. Louis-Ferdinand, the eagerly awaited Dauphin, would be the father of the future Louis XVI. The next royal […]



Marie Antoinette Drouais

Marie-Antoinette in purple

This portrait of Marie-Antoinette by François-Hubert Drouais painted in 1773, when she was eighteen and still the Dauphine. This is to my knowledge the only of her many portraits where she is represented in a purple dress, with matching neck and hair ribbons. The black lace streamer in the background leads me to surmise that […]



Madame Sophie Perin Salbreux

“La Petite Reine” is not Marie-Antoinette

Don’t feel bad if you believed otherwise: I did too, along with many curators and art historians. Of course I thought the face was rounder than in most of Marie-Antoinette’s portraits, the nose pointy instead of aquiline. The expression was not quite right either, lacking in boldness and character. But the Queen herself complained that […]