Tag Archives: French History

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: 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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Lost Paris: A snapshot of 1730s Paris

Lost Paris

This wonderful, 33 megapixel, zoomable marvel is known as the Turgot Map of Paris, and it’s a remarkable document in all sorts of ways. I like to imagine that were you to be offered the chance to drift above Paris in a hot air balloon in the 1730s (disregarding the fact that this was impossible, […]

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Marie Antoinette and her Children: The mystery and the history of Louis Charles in the tower. Part 1

On the morning of 11th August 1792, an exhausted and increasingly sweaty royal family sat in the reporters’ box of the National Assembly, a stone’s throw from the Seine in Paris. The night before, the Tuileries (the 16th-century royal palace near the Louvre which had been their residence since they were removed from Versailles in […]

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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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