Monthly Archives: February 2010

Marie Antoinette and her Children: The queen’s adopted family

From the day she arrived at Versailles at the age of only fourteen, one question loomed larger in the life of Marie Antoinette than any other. Versailles was so used to gossip that Whisper was practically its official language, but amidst the idle wagging of tongues and scurillous muck-raking, this question had extremely serious consequences […]

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Marie Antoinette and her Children: A new, multi-part series on Culture&Stuff

In 1786, Marie Antoinette and her children posed for a portrait by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun (click the image above for the full version). At first glance, the resulting picture presents a happy image. Madame Royale gazes lovingly up at her mother, the infant Duc de Normandie bounces on her lap, and the Dauphin looks every […]

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Is Paris Burning: Did a German General save the City of Light?

In February 1943, there was nothing in Stalingrad but the ghost of a city. The scale of the battle that had raged for the past seven months was so unimaginable that it is nearly impossible to talk about it without resorting to empty cliché. There are the figures, of course – 850,000 Axis casualties, 1.1 […]

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History, with more Jumpy Bits: are video games a new avenue for history?

There was an article in Literary Review recently, in which DJ Taylor bemoaned the state of publishing and the literary world in general, culminating in the conclusion that reading a book is, by and large, a more valuable and more rewarding activity than watching a film, laughing at a stand-up comedian or hunkering down over […]

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Queen Victoria’s Black Sheep: Prince Eddy and the Ripper Rumours, Part 2

As we saw in Part 1 of this story, there are many theories on the real identity of Jack the Ripper doing the rounds, which range from the hypothetically plausible to the palpably absurd. Delving a little deeper, it is interesting to note how many of the suspects suggested over the years involve highly respected […]

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