Tag Archives: 18th century

Film Review: A Royal Affair

Film producers, as a species, are notoriously risk averse creatures, which is why it's always a special joy when a film that doesn't have dollar signs written all over it slips through the net. This is just such a film, based as it is on one of those pieces of history that is bafflingly, criminally […]

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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 3

There aren’t many things I’m good at doing if I’m suddenly woken up from sleeping. Operating a pair of trousers is a challenge, walking in a straight line a chore, and conducting a meaningful conversation a scientific impossibility. I don’t want to become one of those web sites that worship the ground Marie Antoinette walked […]

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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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Marie Antoinette on Trial: A Contemporary English Account to Read Online

If there’s one thing everyone knows about Marie Antoinette, it’s that unfortunate cake remark (which, of course, there’s no reason at all to believe she ever said). If there’s a second thing, it’s that she got her head chopped off. A lie and an ending – the foundations of our conceptions of the entire life […]

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