Let Them Eat Cake!

Ahhhh Versailles! The ultimate 1%-er house (and we see how well that turned out, huh?). And not really a house, more like a luxurious village all stuck together and daubed with gold leaf.

Hi Cath!

See what I mean about the gold leaf?

Look at this behemoth! It stretches for miles. In fact, it is so large that back in the days of Marie-Antoinette random people just took up residence in the numerous hallways:

Cath and I had to take a photo together in this hallway because we had both used this Marie-Antoinette screen-saver (below) for months when Sofia Copola’s “Marie Antoinette” came out:

Speaking of Marie Antoinette, here is her beautiful bedroom:

I’ve had a bit of a soft spot for Marie A since reading Antonia Fraser’s biography on her (highly recommended read, btw). History has condemned her a bit too harshly. I mean, sure, she was extraordinarily rich and turned a blind eye while people in Paris starved, but really, that’s no more or less than any royal in any country had done and was doing at the time.

For instance, her grandfather-in-law Louis XIV was much more bombastically monied than she. He called himself the Sun King, pranced around in extravagant costumes (see below), and built Versailles to be the largest palace ever seen. This rich megalomaniac got to keep his head.

Right place and right time eh, Louis? You certainly couldn’t wear this now (Louis’ sun king costume. really):

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Marie Antoinette was wrongly accused of saying “Let them eat cake” indirectly by Monsieur Rousseau in his autobiography. He says, “Finally I recalled the stopgap solution of a great princess who was told that the peasants had no bread, and who responded: “Let them eat brioche.” At the time of his bio, Marie was just a mere nine years of age, living in Austria, and not even princess yet:

Lady Fraser attributes the dismissive saying to Maria Theresa of Austria (daughter of Phillip IV of Spain and married to Louis XIV), but there seems to be some doubt about that as well. (I’m getting all my “scholarly” information from this wiki article):

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Marie A definitely deserved being stripped of some of her wealth, but not being brutally beheaded. A bit harsh, don’t you think?

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I think going to a beautiful, gorgeous place like Versailles just makes me a bit thoughtful about how something so awe-inspiring came to be: the good and the bad of it.

Anywhoddle, enough of my history lesson mumblings. if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, lovelies! And thanks for tagging along on some more of our Paris adventures. There’s a few more installments to come!


Dear Kitcath,

Hahaha! I loved your outdoor outfits for Edi and Paris and always wished I could feel as warm (that Primark coat is more like a jacket).

I can not wait for the summer! Even if it’s still only 55 degrees, at least we’ll be together again!



13 thoughts on “Let Them Eat Cake!”

  1. So interesting! What a fun trip! I went to Paris with my grandparents.don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t any less cool, but I bet it’s a lot more fun with a twin!

  2. Such gorgeous gorgeous photos! Can’t wait for the rest of the installments. Loved the history lesson btw – you have a wonderful way of making history fun, I loves it 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Katherine! I love pretending I know things 😉
      Can’t wait until you come visit!!!

  3. Great post. I love that Rousseau portrait. Handsome devil. I particularly like his five o’clock shadow. Do you know who the artist was? It’s a very modern-looking portrait.

    1. P.C., I’m so glad you asked! I did some “research” and found out the painting is by a Mr. Maurice Quentin de La Tour. I was hoping to find he was a relative of one of my favorite Baroque painters George de la Tour (the original and far less cheesy “Painter of Light). Alas, Maurice Quentin is no close relation, but according to his self portrait on his wiki page, he is also a handsome devil (something to do with the Enlightenment must have encouraged handsomeness) and kind of looks like he knows it. He lived to the ripe ole age of 83, but sadly spent the last part of his life suffering from mental illness.

  4. Oh my word. I wouldn’t mind gold leafing all over my house. Well, I’d have to spruce it up with a new paint job, but stillAnd I have been wanting to read a biography on the M. Antoi (because I’m crafty with nicknames) so I will definitely be adding your recommendation!

    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights

  5. Aww I need to visit Versailles! It was one of the places I didn’t get a chance to do. Must change that soon. I’m so curious, I totally need to read that book you’ve recommended!

  6. Ohhhhh, beautiful!! I love the shot of you guys in the same photo from “Marie Antoinette.” Speaking of, my favorite biography of her is by Stefan Zweig. He was one of the first biographers to portray her as a creature to be sympathized, emphasizing her youth and lack of knowledge in political affairs. It also helps that he’s a master of words, just the type of lyricist that would appeal to literature snobs. 🙂

  7. I love these historical posts, with the quotes and all. I love the story of marie antoinette as well so would love to check out that book. I did regret not visiting versailles when I was in paris a couple of years ago. Next time.

    That “Sun” costume is pretty hilarious! What a goof.

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