Sunday, 27 September 2015

Fashion Plates: Marie Antoinette

The fashion plates are probably the closest thing we will ever come to knowing how Marie Antoinette's wardrobe truly was since no full gown of hers has survived. The only fragments we have of her wardrobe are mainly from the very last years of the Ancien Regime and the time she spent as a prisoner.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

A Disastrous Duel

While duelling could be an honourable way out of a conflict but sometimes nobody really emerged victorious. In the beginning of 1697 a brawl in a common tavern - over the favour of two sisters - led to a duel between the eldest son of the Comte d'Auvergne and the Chevalier de Caylus. The latter had a distant connection to Louis XIV himself being the brother-in-law of Madame de Maintenon's favourite niece - far out but nevertheless the King heard of it.

The Chevalier de Caylus allegedly accredited himself well in the duel whereas the heir to the Comte d'Auvergne had used his sword "like a poltroon".
Louis XIV was furious that two gentlemen of his court would let things get so out of hand. The Chevalier fled France and was informed that the King did not intend for him to come back any time soon. Even the two sisters in question were influenced; one was sent into a convent while the other was banished from France.

However, it was the heir to the Duchy of d'Auvergne who fared the worst. His father was so outraged that he had endangered the family's reputation with the King that the Comte disinherited his son for good. Being now without a safe future the Comte's son had to leave France and eventually took the Cross of Malta.