Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century

October 01, 2015

Giveaway Winner Announced for Young Jane Austen: Becoming A Writer

Finally October is here, and I am starting it off with a wonderful book giveaway!  Today we have a winner of the giveaway of one signed copy of Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer by Lisa Pliscou.

And the winner is...

September 24, 2015

Madame du Barry was Enchanting, Unpowdered and Looked Extremely Well at Night

Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. Portrait of Madame Du Barry. 1781, oil on panel. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Comparing notes on Madame du Barry according to a French writer, a young officer in the light cavalry, and a Belgian Prince.

September 14, 2015

Book Spotlight + A Jane Austen Giveaway

Autumn has arrived, school has started and things are beginning to calm down for me. Around this time of year I am drawn back to Jane Austen and often find myself rereading one of her books.  Just the other day a professor caught me reading Pride & Prejudice, giving us the opportunity to fan girl over it!

If you are looking for something Jane Austen to read, you might be interested in Lisa Pliscou's new book, just published this year, titled Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer. Read on for a chance to win a signed copy of the new book!

August 20, 2015

Spotted Marie Antoinette in NYC

I stumbled upon the Brigitte Lacombe exhibit at Phillips a few weeks ago. Of course I was all ohhh and had to share!

July 19, 2015

Giveaway + A Look Inside Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall

"My girls #Poldark" Tweet from Ruby Bentall!
I am so excited to be participating in the Ross Poldark Blog Tour, which features an amazing giveaway contest including copies of the books and a stunning Anglophile-themed prize package! Details on the giveaway are below.

June 16, 2015

How did Marie Antoinette celebrate her 21st birthday?

Château Fontainebleau is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries. Photo via Musee château Fontainebleau 

When a Queen turns 21, you have to do something big! Of course a party would be planned for her birthday, but what could be done to make the event even bigger? How about starting the party before her birthday even arrived? 36 hours before Marie Antoinette turned 21 the Faro tables opened!

June 04, 2015

Diamond feathers for her hair

"Spectacular old mine cut diamond and sapphire oversized feather brooch from Fred Leighton -- the one that fashion baron, André Leon Talley, borrows from time to time." source New York Social Diary

"I beg you will limit yourself to this ornament, even of which your charms have no need. This present should please you the more that it has not increased my expenditure, since it is composed of diamonds I possessed when I was a dauphin."¹
Even Louis XVI tried to curb Marie Antoinette's taste for tall headdresses, which were inspired by Georgiana duchess of Devonshire.  In this anecdote, he offered her a beautiful diamond aigrette, made of diamonds from his personal collection, to wear instead of the frivolous feathers. Subtle(?) gesture.

¹Métra, François. "Correspondance littéraire secrète." Neuwied, Société typographique, Janurary 9, 1775. Quoted in Langlade, Émile, and A. S. Rappoport. 1913. Rose Bertin: the creator of fashion at the court of Marie-Antoinette. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons. 40.