In the anniversary of her death, we glance at the oft misunderstood queen.
PUBLISHED October 14, 2016
Marie Antoinette is well-known for her decadence. Or her supposed decadence, anyhow.
By the full time she had been executed in the guillotine on October 16, 1793 (nine months after her spouse, King Louis XVI, had been killed the same way), she was in fact disparaged as xmeets site a frivolous, selfish, and immoral girl whose luxurious life style had increased inequality that is economic.
To be clear, aquatic Antoinette ended up being no saint. She thought that the French Bourbon monarchy was indeed ordained by Jesus, and thus she didn t accept the theory that royals like her had been add up to their topics. She also wore flour on her behalf wigs even though many French individuals went without bread.
Yet not totally all regarding the criticisms associated with queen were warranted, if not real. As well as in some real methods, Marie Antoinette continues to be misinterpreted. Listed here are five details about the famous queen.
1. She never ever stated Let them consume dessert.
Probably one of the most well-known quotes in history is the fact that Marie Antoinette, when told that the French individuals had no bread to consume, responded: allow them to consume dessert. But Marie Antoinette never ever stated this.
The austrian-born Marie Antoinette took the throne, French people had been attributing this phrase to the foreign queens of French kings for decades as a kind of displaced frustration with the crown, argues Caroline Weber, author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by the time.
As financial inequality expanded within the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it absolutely was easier for patriotic French visitors to that is amazing a foreign-born queen had been insensitive with their plight as opposed to the French king himself, she states.
2. She ended up being the main topic of pornography.
Both the queen and the king s pampered mistresses shared the weight of critics displaced frustration before Louis XVI. Scholars have actually noted that since Louis XVI had no mistresses, Marie Antoinette had been susceptible to a level that is extra of.
Marie Antoinette really was bearing the brunt of a known degree of general public indignation along with misogyny which had typically been channeled toward these mistresses, Weber claims.
Before she became queen, the politically themed pornographic pamphlets and publications that circulated throughout France only featured the king s mistresses, who have been considered promiscuous for resting having a married guy. But with no mistress to ridicule, governmental pornographers targeted the queen.
This pornography insinuated that Marie Antoinette slept with several gents and ladies within the court, whenever the truth is, there s only proof to show she had one intimate buddy ( and that relationship might have been solely platonic). Painting her being a woman that is immoral slept together with her brother-in-law as a few of the pornography alleged was one of the ways for revolutionaries to argue the monarchy had been corrupt.
Marie Antoinette poses with three of her kids.
Photograph by Lebrecht Musical and Arts Photo Library, Alamy
3. She wasn t a footwear hound.
Versailles, for several its decadence, had been a tremendously place that is dirty filled up with pets and excrement. In the place of cleansing their footwear, the royals and aristocrats would toss them away every days that are few.
This tradition of waste and excess was one thing Marie Antoinette stepped into whenever she found its way to France. She didn t create it, and she didn t go on it towards the extremes that others did. At the least four people in the royal household spent more about clothes than she did including Louis XVI s brother the comte d’Artois, whom ordered 365 pairs of footwear each year.
Though she undoubtedly had more shoes compared to average person that is french Marie Antoinette wasn t recognized to have already been a certain footwear freak at Versailles, claims Weber.
4. She liked to dress straight straight down.
Paradoxically, for an individual who became infamous for supposedly being frivolous and overly focused on excess that is luxurious she had been really exactly about dressing down, Weber states.
Together together with her seamstress, Marie Antoinette designed a straightforward small white gown a garment that shocked people who have its casualness since when she wore it, she didn t appear to be a queen.
One of this ironies for the French Revolution is this small white gown became essentially the uniform of French Revolutionary ladies, Weber continues. The same women that thought Marie Antoinette was indeed terrible for France and had been clamoring to possess her head take off and clamoring to take in her bloodstream had been similar women that actually liked the tiny white gown given that it ended up being easy, since it ended up being sorts of inexpensive.
5. Her spending wasn t a primary reason behind the French Revolution.
Thomas Jefferson supposedly stated that when perhaps maybe not for Marie Antoinette, there could have already been no French Revolution. Whether or not he actually said that (as the reader that is careful wonder), there has truly been a misperception throughout history that Marie Antoinette s excesses played an outsize part in France s financial issues.
As mentioned before, Marie Antoinette adopted, in the place of developed, the luxurious life style of Versailles. In addition, France had been broke before she arrived.
The treasury ended up being empty because of the time they took the throne, Weber states of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Nevertheless, the master made a decision to deliver troops that are french the United states colonies to fight Britain, to which France had recently lost Canada and numerous Caribbean colonies in the Seven Years War.
It wasn’t a well known choice which he meant to deliver the French troops to fight with us within the United states Revolution, because France ended up being basically bankrupt also it was costly, she claims.
Therefore while there have been a quantity of conditions that contributed to France s financial woes while the revolution, Marie Antoinette had beenn t a cause that is main. She had been simply a scapegoat that is easy.