French Revolution Émigrés in England, a Guest Post from Lona Manning | ReginaJeffers’s Blog

Caricatures of England and France: the effete French dancing master meets sturdy John Bull. The punchline of this cartoon is a [pretty lame] pun. The English tax collector wants to collect tax on hops (used for making beer) and he understands that the dancing master “deals [in hops] very extensively.”

Did you ever read The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy? It’s a romantic and thrilling classic about the French Revolution. I’d like to share some of my research about the real lives of the refugees from that time…

Source: French Revolution Émigrés in England, a Guest Post from Lona Manning | ReginaJeffers’s Blog

Madame Tussaud Used Beheaded Politicians to Create Her Original Waxworks

Madame Tussauds staff work in the wax studio on Marylebone Road, London, in 1939. PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID SAVILL, TOPICAL PRESS AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

In the late 18th century, wax artist Marie Tussaud launched a somewhat unusual career in Paris. As a forced show of her loyalty to the French Revolution, she was ordered to create death masks of the guillotined aristocrats of the former monarchy, including…

Source: Madame Tussaud Used Beheaded Politicians to Create Her Original Waxworks

The Favras Plot | Geri Walton


Comte d’Antraigues

There were numerous plots afoot to save the royal family after the French Revolution began. One well-known plot involved Louis-Alexandre de Launay, Comte d’Antraigues, who was a French pamphleteer, spy, and political adventurer. D’Antraigues had been elected to the Estates-General in 1789 and initially supported the French Revolution. However, after Versailles was stormed and the royal family was taken to the Palais des Tuileries (essentially as prisoners), he switched sides and became a staunch defender of the monarchy.

As a counter revolutionary, d’Antraigues soon found himself aligned with the audacious Thomas de Mahy, marquis de Favras.  Favras came from an impoverished but aristocratic family. At seventeen he became captain of the dragoons and later served as a first lieutenant in the Swiss Guard for Louis XVI’s younger brother, Comte de Provence (future Louis XVIII). It was because of Favras’s relationship with the Comte de Provence that Favras became drawn into a plot to save the royal family, restore the…

Source: The Favras Plot | Geri Walton

Azilum: Frontier of the French Revolution | The History Bandits

The glorious opening of the French Revolution in 1789 was met with widespread celebration across the Atlantic. To Americans, it signified further victory for the shared ideals of liberty and equali…

Source: Azilum: Frontier of the French Revolution | The History Bandits

Sanson’s Account Of The Execution Of Louis XVI | History And Other Thoughts

After the execution of Louis XVI, the revolutionary journal ‘Thermomètre du jour’ published an inaccurate report of the event. The paper stated, among other calumnies, that the King had to be led to the scaffold with a pistol held at his temple and that the guillotine had struck his neck instead than his head, thus horribly mutilating him. When the executioner Charles Henri Sanson read this article, he decided to write a full account of the event to set the record straight and sent it to the newspaper. The King, according to Sanson, showed bravery and calmness of mind, which in his opinion, he derived from religion. Here’s his account:

Paris, 20 Feb. 1793; 1st year of the Fr. Rep.


A short absence has prevented my sooner replying to your article concerning Louis Capet. But here is the exact truth as to what passed. On alighting from the carriage for execution, he was told that he must take off his coat; he made some difficulty, saying that they might as well execute him as he was. On [our] representation that that was impossible, he himself assisted in taking off his coat. He again made the same difficulty when his hands were to be tied, but he offered them himself when the person who accompanied him [his confessor] had told him that it…

Source: Sanson’s Account Of The Execution Of Louis XVI | History And Other Thoughts.

The Carmelites of Compiègne | the fouduroy

Originally posted on the fouduroy. (Translation by Google with a little adjustment by me; it’s still not entirely perfect!)

The 16 Carmelites of Compiègne were innocent nuns who were arrested in June 1794 by the republican authorities whose policy of repression by the Terror had now reached the level of hatred and violence, with regard to France and the French, The highest.

Transferred to Paris, they were incarcerated in the Conciergerie. There, the 16 Carmelites courageously continued to live their faith in dignity. According to a witness, a certain Denis Blot, they were heard every night at two in the morning, reciting their office. On 16 July 1794, they kept the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel with such enthusiasm that tell a prisoner the day before their death seemed a great day of celebration for them.

They were then brought before the Revolutionary Court in the infamous Fouquier. After a few minutes of questioning without witnesses or a lawyer, the court sentenced to death the 16 innocent Carmelites of Compiègne for “fanaticism, sedition and conspiracy against the republic.” It is from this show trial that Stalin, a fine example of a bastard and worthy heir of this so-called “French” revolution, will draw for his purges 142 years later.

Immediately after the statement of the judgment, the 16 innocent Carmelites of Compiègne got into the carts that brought them up to Place du Trône-Renversé (now Place de la Nation). Serene, courageous, dignified and indifferent to the insults, they sang on the trip, the Miserere and the Salve Regina, and drawing the admiration of the crowd.

They arrived at the foot of the scaffold, dressed in their white coats, singing the Te Deum followed by Veni Creator. Singing the Laudate Dominum, the 16 Carmelites of Compiègne went to the gallows one after another with courage and dignity. The Mother Superior of the Carmelites went there last. The singing nuns climbing the scaffold impressed and highly stunned the crowd and the executioners who had rarely seen behaviour so worthy.

After execution, the bodies and the heads of the 16 Carmelites of Compiègne were thrown at night by Republican cowardice, in a common grave in the cemetery of Picpus.

This violence towards France Eternal is still embodied and exercised by governments sometimes called “right” sometimes called “left” but still animated by a common hatred of France they are working to destroy by all means for the interests of big capital and globalized finance.

Compiègne Carmelite The memory must forever, animate and encourage us to combat all forms of democratic and republican regime as it will continue to tarnish our beautiful land of France, that of our ancestors, of our … The Kings they confiscated us.

Pay tribute to the Carmelites of Compiègne victim of revolutionary fury.

Sister Constance of Jesus (Marie-Geneviève Meunier, 29) (novice)
Sister Saint Louis (Marie-Anne Brideau, 42)
Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception (Marie Brard, 58)
Sister Julie -Louise Jesus (Pink Christian Neuville, 53)
Sister Sainte Marthe (Marie Dufour, 51)
Sister of Jesus Crucified (Marie-Anne Piedcourt, 78)
Sister Mary of the Holy Spirit (Angelica Roussel , 52) (lay sister)
Sister Saint Francis Xavier (Juliette Verolot, 33) (lay sister)
Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius (Marie Gabrielle Trezel, 51)
Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection (Anne Marie Thouret, 78)
Sister Teresa of the Heart of Mary (Marie-Anne Hanisset, 52)
Sister Catherine (Catherine Soiron, 52, doorkeeper)
Sister Teresa (Teresa Soiron, 49, doorkeeper)
Henriette Mother of Jesus (Marie Françoise Gabrielle de Croissy, 49)
Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence (Marie-Anne Pelras, 30)
Mother Teresa of St. Augustine (Marie-Madeleine-Claudine Lidoine 41 years)

via The Carmelites of Compiègne | the fouduroy.

Marie Antoinette: An Intimate History | Madame Guillotine

Originally posted on Madame Guillotine

Marie Antoinette

I’m so sorry about taking a month off from my blog but I hope you’ll all forgive me when I reveal that the reason for my absence was a brand new book about Marie Antoinette, based on decades of pretty obsessive research (both primary and secondary) and thoughts and questions from all of you.

A couple of years ago I threatened my poor, unfortunate blog readers with a light-hearted ‘pulp’ biography of Marie Antoinette, which at the time I intended to call ‘Teen Queen to Madame Guillotine’. However, other projects intervened and my plan was temporarily shelved as I worked on my historical fiction instead. I couldn’t stay away forever though as although my blog covers all sorts of different periods and people, Marie Antoinette is a subject that I often return to and one that I have always really enjoyed writing about as evidenced by the fact that my university dissertation was on the topic of different representations of her both before and after the revolution.

This book was originally intended as an extremely short biography (longer than a pamphlet but shorter than a novella) giving a basic précis of the doomed Queen’s life for readers who perhaps don’t know all that much about her (the better known biographies can be a bit impenetrable to beginners) and maybe answering some of the most commonly asked questions about her along the way. I envisioned it as a sort of ‘beach read biography’ – in other words, an entertaining and not at all weighty read that could be dipped in and out of at leisure and didn’t require a massive background knowledge of the period to be enjoyed. I wanted to convey something of Marie Antoinette’s life and times without getting too bogged down in the politics of the era, although naturally they can’t help but intrude, especially from 1789 onwards.

However, as the project developed…

via Marie Antoinette: An Intimate History | Madame Guillotine

Foreshades of Grey (7)


or, All about the other Eves

Among his output of pastorals, genre scenes and mythological subjects, Boucher supplied erotic pictures of fashionable young beauties to the French court; some of his nudes cross the line from art to pimping, as was commented at the time by Diderot.

louise o'murphyBoucher The Blonde Odalisque 1752 Oil on canvas Alte Pinakothek, Munich

In one of the most famous images of mainstream erotica ever produced, the model in this equivalent of a Playboy centrefold, is traditionally supposed to be Louise O’Murphy (1737-1814), the convent-educated fourteen year-old daughter of one of the many Irish Jacobite immigrant families in France.

It is far more explicit than Marilyn Monroe’s nude calendar photo shoot two hundred years later (by Tom Kelley, 1952).

Marilyn1952 - Copy

Marilyn’s joyful curves, colouring and sweet corrupted innocence would have suited Boucher.

Whoever the 18th century blonde odalisque really is, she is being presented, with her buttocks displayed…

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Sainsbury’s Christmas truce advert ‘confuses understanding’ of the First World War | History Extra

This would have been posted before Christmas if my computer hadn’t died on me!

It has fiercely divided public opinion, being branded ‘dangerous and disrespectful’ by the Guardian, and hailed by others as a beautiful tribute to soldiers. But for First World War expert Professor Mark Connelly, the biggest problem with the latest Sainsbury’s advert, which depicts the 1914 Christmas truce, is that it perpetuates myths about the conflict

Connelly, a professor of modern British military history at the University of Kent, told History Extra the advert “confuses people about why the war carried on”, and spreads the overly-simplistic idea that young men were forced to fight.

Discussing the television advert, which has been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube and has split public opinion, Connelly said: “The advert does not help people to understand what really happened – it confuses people about why the war carried on.

“Too much emphasis has been placed on the Christmas truce. If there was so much love in 1914, then why did the war drag on for four more years? We have overladen the truce with sentimentality, but in reality it was just a day off [for troops].

“In the days after the truce you saw troops furiously working on their defences. They took advantage of the few rain-free days over Christmas to move equipment, and unload rail wagons. You wouldn’t have known there was a truce.

“So the advert is accurate, but for very few soldiers. It is a snapshot presented as a panorama. In reality, the truce can be localised to just one or two battalions.

“There is still an incredibly moving story there – people did truce and fraternize. But this advert perpetuates the idea that that was the whole story, and any professional historian would tell you…

via Sainsbury’s Christmas truce advert ‘confuses understanding’ of the First World War | History Extra

The Leveller


MarieAntoinetteBM Jean-Francois Janinet, Marie Antoinette, a print after Jean-Baptiste-André Gautier-Dagoty France, 1777 © The Trustees of the British Museum

Nothing becomes a rich person so ill as telling a poor one that money can’t buy happiness, but I sympathize with them that it doesn’t always buy beauty or good taste.  Looking at the clothes in Harvey Nichols the other day, for the first time in seven years, I have never seen so much I didn’t want.* It is consoling to know that you can dress just as sluttily or frumpily from the local mall as you can from Knightsbridge.

But where is exquisite wearable art to be found in London today if it’s not in “premier luxury retail”? It doesn’t matter that the prices are out of my reach – the famous department stores have the power to inspire us all by showcasing the best, not dumb fashion down. Capitalism is…

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