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How the Revolution exposed the dark side of the art of Johann Zoffany

A few weekends ago I went to the Royal Academy of Art’s exhibition (sadly now closed) on 18th century painter Johann Zoffany (1733-1810). Zoffany is largely known for his ‘conversation pieces’, intimate family portraits created for his noble and royal patrons, with his subjects engaged in lively, charming interaction with each other. This sort of […]

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Marie Antoinette on Trial: Your Cut-Out-and-Keep Guide to Reading the Trial, Part 4

In the last part of the guide to Marie Antoinette’s trial, I looked at the way she dealt with the completely unexpected and totally secret interrogation which was sprung upon her two nights before the trial proper was to begin. The challenge that faced her on the morning of 14th October was very different. This […]

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Marie Antoinette on Trial: Your Cut-Out-and-Keep Guide to Reading the Trial, Part 2

In the first part of this guide to Marie Antoinette’s trial (the account of which you can read in full here) we looked at the course of events that took the royal family from being an essential, if awkward, part of a constitutional monarchy to being at first an obstacle to further change, then a […]

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Strange Meetings: The Royal Menagerie at Versailles – an Extract from Vintage Script Magazine

This month, you’ll find a piece I’ve written in Vintage Script, a new magazine dedicated to all things vintage, historical and retro. What’s most delightful about it is the range of different historical periods, as well as the different approaches taken to bringing them to life. In this month’s edition you’ll find stories on the history […]

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Marie Antoinette on Trial: Your Cut-Out-and-Keep Guide to Reading the Trial, Part 1

To coincide with the English account of Marie Antoinette’s trial I uploaded last time, today I begin a guide to reading what can be a confusing and obscure document, and understanding this fascinating event in context. The background to the trial  To some extent ever since the Royal Family had been forcibly removed from Versailles […]

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