Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. “Let them eat cake” is the most famous quote attributed to Marie-Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. As the story goes, it was the queen’s response upon being told that her starving peasant subjects had no bread.
Where did the saying let them eat cake come from?
Let them eat cake 1 Origins. The phrase was supposedly said by Marie Antoinette in 1789, during one of the famines in France during the reign of her husband, King Louis XVI. 2 Similar phrases. 3 See also 4 References.
Did Marie Antoinette say “let them eat cake”?
Here is a classic example of a wrongly attributed quote that cost someone her head. Quite literally. This line “Let them eat cake” was attributed to Marie Antoinette, the queen of King Louis XVI of France. But that’s where the French folks got it wrong. What Made Marie Antoinette So Disliked by the People of France?
Who said’let them eat cake’before the Queen?
For example, the Queen’s English-language biographer wrote in 2002: was said 100 years before her by Marie-Thérèse, the wife of Louis XIV. It was a callous and ignorant statement and she, Marie Antoinette, was neither.
Why do we say’let them eat cake’?
‘ Let them eat cake ‘ is the traditional translation of the French phrase ‘ Qu’ils mangent de la brioche ‘, said to have been spoken in the 17th or 18th century by ‘a great princess’ upon being told that the peasants had no bread. The French phrase mentions brioche, a bread enriched with butter and eggs, considered a luxury food.
Why was let them eat cake so offensive?
At some point around 1789, when being told that her French subjects had no bread, Marie-Antoinette (bride of France’s King Louis XVI) supposedly sniffed, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”—“Let them eat cake.” With that callous remark, the queen became a hated symbol of the decadent monarchy and fueled the revolution that
Did Marie-Antoinette actually say let them have cake?
There’s no evidence that Marie-Antoinette ever said “let them eat cake.” But we do know people have been attributing the phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” to her for nearly two hundred years — and debunking it for just as long.
What happened to Marie-Antoinette’s head?
Lamballe refused to take an oath against the monarchy, and on September 3, 1792, she was delivered to the hands of a Parisian mob; they cut off her head and paraded it on a pike outside Marie-Antoinette’s windows.
Why did the French not like Marie-Antoinette?
She became increasingly unpopular among the people, however, with the French libelles accusing her of being profligate, promiscuous, harboring sympathies for France’s perceived enemies—particularly her native Austria—and her children of being illegitimate.
Did Marie-Antoinette bathe regularly?
Marie-Antoinette bathed once a month. The 17th century British King James I was said to never bathe, causing the rooms he frequented to be filled with lice. It was the Sun King himself, Louis XIV, whose choice to no longer travel from court to court would lead to a particularly putrid living situation.
What is the origin of have your cake and eat it too?
The oldest known use of the proverb you can’t have your cake and eat it too was in a letter from Thomas, Duke of Norfolk to Thomas Cromwell in 1538. In British English, the last word is often omitted from the proverb, as in you can’t have your cake and eat it.
Are there any living relatives of Marie Antoinette?
Historian Delorme convinced the association to have the DNA testing done, which proved that the heart had belonged to someone who shared DNA patterns not only with Marie Antoinette-conserved locks of her hair were tested-but with living descendants of her dynasty including the Queen of Romania and her brother, Prince
What was Marie Antoinette known for?
Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna, better known as Marie Antoinette, was the last queen of France who helped provoke the popular unrest that led to the French Revolution and to the overthrow of the monarchy in August 1792.
What was the nickname for the guillotine?
PARIS — Since the first blade plunged in 1792, the French guillotine has inspired dread and dark nicknames: the widow, the barber, the national razor. Now add a contemporary label: artistic muse.
Why was it bad to say let them eat cake?
Prior to Marie Antoinette’s lifetime, the philosopher Rousseau cited that a 16th-century princess had uttered “Let them Eat Cake” upon hearing that her people were starving. In reality, the phrase was likely later attributed to Marie Antoinette in order to account for her decreased popularity.
Why to Marie-Antionette say let them eat cake?
Marie Antoinette, the heartless foreign Austrian, who is purported to have said ‘Let them eat cake’ when the French people complained about not having enough bread to eat. It became an infamous phrase that lives on to this day, just like her memory.
What does the phrase ‘let them eat cake’ mean?
The Quote Marie Antoinette Never Said
″Allow them to have cake!″ Here’s a famous example of a comment that was incorrectly credited and ended up costing someone her life. To put it another way, rather literally. According to popular legend, this quote from Marie Antoinette, the queen of France’s King Louis XVI, said ″Let them eat cake.″ However, it was at this point that the French were mistaken.
What Made Marie Antoinette So Disliked by the People of France?
- It’s true that she lived a lavish lifestyle..
- Marie Antoinette was a compulsive spendthrift, delighting in extravagant spending even during a period when the country was under an extreme financial crisis.
- Hairdresser Léonard Autié came up with unique styles that the queen admired, and she praised him for his work.
- She invested a lot in the construction of a little village, dubbed Petit Trianon, that was lush with lakes, gardens, and watermills, which she named after herself.
- This occurred at a time when France was suffering from a severe food crisis, poverty, and depressive conditions.
Marie Antoinette: A Daughter Shunned, A Wife Unloved, A Queen Scorned, A Mother Misunderstood
- Marie Antoinette was a teenager when she became queen.
- She had tied the knot with the Dauphin when she was just fifteen years old.
- She was used as a pawn in a political scheme that included her Austrian parents, who were of royal birth, as well as the royal family of France.
- When she arrived in France, she found herself surrounded by adversaries who were attempting to steal the power of the ruling class.
- In addition, the conditions were ideal for the French Revolution.
- Increasingly vocal dissatisfaction among the poorer strata of society was taking root and spreading.
Marie Antoinette’s extravagant spending did not improve the situation either.Because of the excesses of the royal family and those from the upper middle class, France’s impoverished were becoming more irritable.These individuals were on the lookout for any way to pin their misfortune on the King and Queen of England.
- Marie Antoinette was tried for treason in 1793 and publicly beheaded as a result of her conviction.
- Despite the fact that she had her flaws, making an inappropriate comment was most definitely not one of them.
How Rumors Tainted the Young Queen’s Image
As part of the French Revolution, rumors were spread to discredit the Queen and provide justification for her deposition as a traitor.One of the myths that circulated at the time was that when the Queen inquired as to why people were rioting in the city, her page replied that there was no bread available.As a result, the Queen is believed to have responded, ″Let them have cake.″ ″If they don’t have any more bread, they’ll have to make do with brioche!″ she said in French.According to another popular belief, on her way to be executed, the ″insensitive″ queen truly spoke the words that have tarnished her reputation even more severely.
- ″How probable is it that a Queen, who is humiliated and on her way to the guillotine, would say anything so insulting that it might incite the mob’s wrath against her?″ I couldn’t help but wonder when I read this incident of history.
- What kind of sense does that make?’ However, the poorly phrased comment remained associated with Marie Antoinette’s image for more than 200 years.
- It wasn’t until 1823, when the memoirs of Comte de Provence were published, that the whole truth came to the surface.
- When it came to his sister-in-law, the Comte de Provence was not exactly lavish in his praise; yet, it was impossible for him to avoid mentioning that, when eating ″pate en croûte,″ he was reminded of his own ancestress, the Queen Marie-Thérèse.
Who Actually Said the Words, ″Let Them Eat Cake?″
In 1765, French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau published a book titled Confessions, which was divided into six parts.A princess from his time said the following in this book: ″Finally, I recall the pis-aller of a great princesse who was asked why the country people didn’t have any bread and she responded, ″Because they eat brioche,″ in this book.To put it another way, I was reminded of a famous princess who, when she was informed that the peasants were without food, answered with the phrase ″Let them eat brioche.″ In 1765, Marie Antoinette was just nine years old, and she had not yet met the future King of France, let alone married him, when this novel was published, making it unthinkable that she had truly spoken those words.Marie Antoinette arrived at Versailles somewhat later, in 1770, and was crowned queen the following year, in 1774.
The Real Marie Antoinette: A Sensitive Queen and Loving Mother
So, how did Marie Antoinette end up being the unfortunate one that received negative press?According to historical records, the aristocracy was already feeling the heat from the restless peasantry and working class at the time of the revolution in France.Their obscene extravagances, complete apathy, and complete disregard for public outcry were creating a whirlpool of vindictive political activity.While the country was suffering from severe poverty, bread became a national obsession.
- During the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette and her King husband Louis XVI were made the scapegoats for the increasing tide of unrest.
- According to Lady Antonia Fraser, Marie Antoinette was sensitive to the plight of the general populace and frequently gave to a variety of philanthropic organisations during her reign.
- She was particularly sensitive to the situation of the impoverished, and when she learned of their struggle, she was sometimes moved to tears by it.
- However, despite her royal status, she either lacked the motivation to correct the issue or lacked the political skills necessary to defend the monarchy.
- During the first several years of her marriage, Marie Antoinette was unable to have children, and this was seen as evidence of the queen’s promiscuous lifestyle.
Rumors spread about her apparent relationship with Axel Fersen, a Spanish count who was appearing in court.As Marie Antoinette was accused of involvement in a crime that would later be known as the ″diamond necklace affair,″ rumors flew thick and fast inside the ornate walls of the Versailles palace.The accusation that Marie Antoinette had an incestuous relationship with her own son, on the other hand, was perhaps the most slanderous of all.The queen’s mother’s heart may have been broken, but Marie Antoinette remained a stoic, dignified queen who bore the brunt of the scandal.
When the Tribunal asked her to respond to the accusation that she had sexual relations with her son during the course of her trial, she responded, ″If I have not replied, it is because Nature herself refuses to answer such a charge laid against a mother.″ Afterward, she addressed her trial’s audience, who had come to see the proceedings.She implored them: ″I appeal to all moms here present – is it true?″ According to legend, when she said these words in court, the women in the audience were captivated by her sincere appeal.However, the Tribunal, concerned that she would elicit popular sympathy, moved the legal processes up in order to sentence her to death as soon as possible.Known as the ″Reign of Terror,″ this era in history is the darkest moment in history, and it is the period that finally led to the collapse of Robespierre, the principal perpetrator of royal atrocities, and the end of the French Revolution.
How the Queen Was Guillotined for a Crime She Never Committed
Having a tarnished reputation is never beneficial, especially in difficult economic times.The enraged revolutionaries of the French Revolution were on the lookout for a chance to bring the aristocracy to heel.Wild stories were spread through illegal press, fueled by a raging fanaticism and a lust for blood, portraying Marie Antoinette as a barbaric, impudent, and selfishly arrogant woman.The Tribunal declared the queen a ″scourge and blood-sucker of the French,″ and she was executed.
- She was guillotined to death on the spot and sentenced to death.
- The trial was considered to be fair and just by the violent mob, which was out for revenge.
- Marie Antoinette’s hair, which was well-known throughout France for its elegant poufs, was shorn to add to her humiliation, and she was then led to the guillotine.
- During her approach to the guillotine, she unintentionally stepped on the toe of the guillotine by mistake.
- Which of these statements did this shallow, selfish, and insensitive queen make to the executioner do you think?
″Please accept my apologies, monsieur,″ she said.″I haven’t said anything about it.″ That translates to ″Please accept my apologies, sir; I didn’t mean to do it.″ The unfortunate beheading of a queen who had been wronged by her people is a story that will live on in the annals of history as a permanent stain on the fabric of humanity.She was sentenced to a punishment that was far more severe than her crime.Marie Antoinette was doomed from the start since she was the Austrian bride of a French monarch.
She was buried in an unmarked grave, forgotten by a world engulfed in vile hatred for the woman who died.More quotations from Marie Antoinette that she actually said may be found below.These quotations convey the majesty of a queen, the kindness of a mother, and the pain of a woman who has been wrongfully treated.1.
″I was a queen, and you took away my crown; I was a wife, and you murdered my husband; I was a mother, and you took my children away from me.″ I have just my blood left: take it, but do not let me suffer for too long.″ The legendary comments of Marie Antoinette during the trial, when she was asked by the Tribunal whether she had anything to say regarding the accusations leveled against her.″Have the courage!Consider that I have demonstrated it for years; do you believe that I would lose it at the moment when my sufferings will come to an end?″ During her transportation to the guillotine on October 16, 1793, a priest urged Marie Antoinette to maintain her composure as she approached the guillotine.These were the remarks she hurled at the priest, revealing the stoic serenity of a royal woman under the surface.
3.″There is no one who knows my afflictions, nor the horror that fills my breast, who does not know the heart of a mother,″ says the author.In 1789, following the death of her beloved son Louis Joseph from illness, a distraught Marie Antoinette murmured these words to console herself.
Let them eat cake
What’s the origin of the phrase ‘Let them eat cake’?
Many English expressions have obscure origins, and their origins are unknown.Despite this, many individuals believe they are aware of the origin of this particular one.Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793), the Queen consort of Louis XVI, is commonly credited with the painting.Her alleged words came after she was informed that the French people were unable to obtain bread due to a lack of supplies.
- The original French phrase is ‘Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,’ which literally translates as ‘Let them eat brioche.
- ‘ (brioche is a form of cake made of flour, butter and eggs).
- Most people believe that Marie-Antoinette had little understanding of the suffering of the poor and even less concern for them.
- This perception is correct.
- However, there are two issues with this interpretation: 2.
The statement, in so far as it can be proved to be linked with the French nobility, can be construed in a variety of ways, for example, it could have been intended as a sarcastic or even a sincere attempt to present cake to the poor as an alternative to the bread that they could not purchase.Regarding the origin of the expression, two important contemporaries of Marie-Antoinette – Louis XVIII and Jean-Jacques Rousseau – both believe it to have originated from a source other than the Queen of France.According to Louis XVIII’s memoir Relation d’un voyage a Bruxelles et d Coblentz (1791), the phrase ″Que mangent-ils de la croûte de pâté?″ (Why don’t they eat pastry?) was uttered by Marie-Thérèse (1638-1683), the wife of King Louis XIV, who was born in 1638.That narrative, on the other hand, was published over a century after Marie-death, Thérèse’s and as a result, it should be regarded with some care.
The 12-volume autobiographical book Confessions, published by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1770, is the most well-known of his works.The following passage appears in Book 6, which was written around 1767: ″At last I recalled the thoughtless saying of a great princess, who, when informed that the country people had no bread, replied, ″Then let them eat pastry!″ ″Then let them eat pastry!″ Marie-Antoinette arrived in Versailles from her home Austria in 1770, two or three years after Rousseau wrote the text above.She was the first French monarch to live at Versailles.Whatever the ‘great princess’ was – it was most likely Marie-Thérèse, not Marie-Antoinette – she was not Marie-Antoinette.
However, although she has earned a reputation as a lavish socialite, this reputation appears to be unjustified, and it serves as a reminder that history is written by the victorious.″It is absolutely evident that in witnessing the individuals who treat us such kindly despite their own misery, we are more obligated than ever to strive hard for their pleasure,″ she was said to have added.Nonetheless, the French revolutionaries held her in much lower regard than we do now, and she was guillotined to death in 1793 for the crime of treason, which she denied.
The Story Behind ‘Let Them Eat Cake’, Marie-Antoinette’s Famous Quote
07/30/21 Let them eat cake, Marie-immortal Antoinette’s words, are among the most famous quotations in the history of the world.Is it possible that Marie-Antoinette said, ″Let them eat cake?″ What was it about Let Them Eat Cake that was offensive?She served as the wife of King Louis XVI of France and as the Queen of France throughout the French Revolution.When Marie-Antoinette was informed that her famished peasants were unable to eat bread, she is said to have sniffed and said, ‘Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,’ which translates as ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ in French, at some point around 1789.
- ALLOW THEM TO EAT CAKE MEANING: Because brioche is more expensive than bread, the tale has been used as an illustration of Marie-obliviousness Antoinette’s to the plight of regular people and their everyday lives in France, according to some historians.
- With such rude statement, the Queen cemented her reputation as a despised emblem of the decadent monarchy and encouraged the revolution that ultimately resulted in her (literally) losing her head in 1793.
- TIP: These are the greatest Parisian Cakes, having been created and developed in the city of light!
Who Was Marie-Antoinette?
Maria Antonia Josefa Johanna (1755 –1793) was an Austrian princess who was born and nurtured in the court of the Habsburg monarchy in Vienna.Louis Auguste, the future Dauphin of France, proposed to Marie-Antoinette when she was just 13 years old, and the two were married the following year.This planned marriage was an attempt to bring Austria and France back together after a period of conflict.Marie-Antoinette arrived in France in 1770, and she and her husband, the Dauphin, resided at the sumptuous Palace of Versailles with their children.
- The Dauphin succeeded to the throne as Louis XVI in 1774, after the death of King Louis XV of France.
- Marie-Antoinette was already the Queen of France when she was just 20 years old.
- It was Marie-tendency Antoinette’s to live lavishly, and she enjoyed throwing elaborate balls in the Palace and throwing grandiose parties in the Gardens of Versailles.
- When she needed to get away from the rigors of the French court, she journeyed discreetly to Paris or spent time ‘playing the peasant’ in the hamlet that had been erected just for her inside Versailles.
- More information on Marie-Antoinette may be found here.
Marie Antoinette had little power despite the fact that she was the Queen of France at the time.She remained an Austrian who maintained close relations with her family in Vienna, and as a result, King Louis XVI never talked politics with her or sought her counsel on state matters.The Queen of France was unable to do much beyond hosting sumptuous parties, donating to charity organizations, and bearing successors to the French throne.At the start of her existence in the French court, Marie-Antoinette was well-liked by everybody, and she was admired for her beauty and charity, among other qualities.
Over the years, there was rising dissatisfaction with the Queen’s extravagant lifestyle and wild parties, especially at a time when the whole city of Paris was starving.Prepare for your visit to Versailles.
Did Marie-Antoinette Say Let Them Eat Cake?
According to historians, the remark ″Let them eat cake″ attributed to Marie-Antoinette was a hoax spread by a rumor. In light of the facts, it appears that Marie-Antoinette did not say ″Let them eat cake,″ and that the famous remark was said by someone else long before Marie-Antoinette was crowned Queen of France. What we do know is as follows:
1. We Find Versions of Marie-Antoinette’s Quote Let Them Eat Cake Years Before
Folklore scholars have discovered several versions of the same quote, some of which are slightly different, all over Europe.In the 16th century, there was a story about a noblewoman who was perplexed as to why the hungry peasants weren’t eating Krosem, which was a type of sweet bread.In Rousseau’s autobiography Confessions, we find the quote ‘Qu’ils Mangent de la Brioche,’ which was uttered by a ‘great princess,’ which is set in France.A year before Marie-birth Antoinette’s in 1767, Rousseau’s book was written while she was still a child and living in Austria, far away from the French court.
- Who said it was okay for them to eat cake?
- In this remark from Let Them Eat Cake, it is thought that Rousseau was referring to either Queen Maria-Thérèse, who was the wife of King Louis XIV and lived around 100 years before Marie-Antoinette became Queen of France, or to himself.
2. Queen Marie Antoinette Actually Cared About Her People
However, historians believe that, despite Marie-undoubtedly Antoinette’s opulent lifestyle, she was an intellectual lady who was sensitive to the plight of France’s destitute and starving inhabitants.Throughout her time at the French court, Queen Marie-Antoinette was generous in her donations to charity organizations.We can also see that she cares about her people in some of her letters to her family in Austria, albeit in her own unique way, in some of these letters.The Let Them Eat Cake statement by Marie-Antoinette, in any case, was used to illustrate the disconnect between the aristocracy in France and the state of the country.
Trying to Kill the Rumors
Consequently, it appears that the Marie-Antoinette statement Let Them Eat Cake was subsequently linked to her declining popularity, which is consistent with this theory.Marie-Antoinette was in such trouble!As was the case with the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, her reputation was forever tarnished as a result of a quote from someone else’s book.The year 1843 marked the first time the quote was associated with the ill-fated Queen in print.
- When a French writer called Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr discovered the quotation ″Let Them Eat Cake″ in a book from 1760, when Marie-Antoinette was just five years old, he denounced it to the authorities.
- Karr believed that by doing so, the myth that she was the inspiration for the famous remark would be put to rest once and for all, but it did not succeed.
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Did Marie-Antoinette Really Say “Let Them Eat Cake”?
It is said that Marie-Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution, said, ″Let them eat cake,″ which is the most famous remark associated with her.According to legend, that was the queen’s answer when she was informed that her starving peasant peasants were unable to get food.In part due to the fact that cake is more expensive than bread, the story is often used in order to illustrate the Queen’s obliviousness to the realities and daily lives of regular people during her reign.But, did she ever say those exact words in her life?
- Most likely not.
- Because, for one, the supposedly original French phrase that Marie-Antoinette is credited with saying—″Qu’ils mangent de la brioche″—doesn’t quite translate as ″Let them eat cake.″ It translates to ″Let them eat brioche,″ which is a good thing.
- Of course, the fact that brioche is a delicious bread prepared with eggs and butter, and is almost as decadent as cake, does not actually alter the meaning of the narrative in any way.
- However, the queen would not have been referring to the type of dessert that English people are accustomed to thinking about.
- More importantly, there is no historical proof that Marie-Antoinette ever uttered anything along the lines of ″Qu’ils mangent de la brioche″ or anything else along those lines.
How did the quote come to be linked with Marie-Antoinette, and how did it come to be associated with her?As it happens, folklore historians have discovered tales that are identical to this one in various regions of the world, albeit the specifics vary from one version to the next.As an example, in a story gathered in 16th-century Germany, a noblewoman asks why the starving poor don’t just eat Krosem (a sweet bread).Stories about monarchs or aristocracy who are unaware of their privileges are famous and ubiquitous folklore, mostly because they are amusing.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a French philosopher, is said to have been the first to use the precise phrase ″Qu’ils mangent de la brioche″ in literature, according to some sources.Jacques Rousseau recounts a version of the incident in Book VI of his Confessions (published about 1767), giving the phrase to ″a magnificent princess.″ The princess Rousseau had in mind at the time, Marie-Antoinette, despite the fact that she was still a child, is highly unlikely to have been the one in question.Since the revolutionaries were influenced by Rousseau’s works, it has been speculated that they may have taken this remark, fraudulently attributed it to Marie-Antoinette, and circulated it as propaganda in order to arouse opposition to the monarchy.However, this has not been proven.
But contemporary researchers are skeptical of such claims because there is no evidence of the quote appearing in the revolutionary newspapers, pamphlets, or other materials that were published by the revolutionaries.The first known source that connects the quote to the queen was published more than 50 years after the French Revolution, which is quite remarkable given its age.An article in the journal Les Guêpes published in 1843 reported that a quote from a ″book dated 1760″ had been found by French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, who asserted that it proved that the rumor about Marie-Antoinette had been spread falsely.Rumor?
He was probably just repeating something he had previously heard, just like so many of us.
Did Marie-Antoinette really say “Let them eat cake”?
It’s one of the most famous phrases in the history of the human race.″Let them eat cake,″ Marie-Antoinette (the future wife of France’s King Louis XVI) allegedly sniffed when informed that her French citizens were without bread at some point around 1789.″Let them eat cake,″ she is reported to have said.Those words cemented the queen’s ignominious status as a despised emblem of the decadent monarchy, and they encouraged the revolt that would ultimately lead to her (literally) losing her head many years later.
- Is it possible that Marie-Antoinette actually said those venomous words?
- According to historians, this is not the case.
- Lady Antonia Fraser, author of a biography of the French queen, believes that the quote would have been highly uncharacteristic of Marie-Antoinette, who she believes was an intelligent woman who donated generously to charitable causes and, despite her undeniably lavish lifestyle, displayed sensitivity towards the poor population of France.
- ″The quote would have been highly uncharacteristic of Marie-Antoinette,″ she says.
- What’s even more compelling, though, is the fact that the ″Let them eat cake″ narrative had been circulating for years before to 1789, when the event occurred.
Marie-Thérèse, the Spanish princess who married King Louis XIV in 1660, was the subject of a story that was initially recounted in a somewhat different form.″La croûte de pâté″ (the crust of the pâté) is reported to have been one of her recommendations to the French people.A number of additional 18th-century royals, including two aunts of Louis XVI, were implicated in the comment throughout the course of the next century.One of the most famous versions of the pâté story is that told by the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his ″Confessions″ in 1766, in which he attributes the words to ″a magnificent princess″ (most likely Marie-Thérèse).
Those immortal words were almost definitely not said by Marie-Antoinette, who was just 10 years old at the time Rousseau was penning them—three years away from marrying the French prince and eight years away from becoming the country’s first woman to reign as monarch.
Uncover the reality behind Marie-Antoinette’s famous phrase, “Let them eat cake”
Probably the most well-known depiction of the French aristocracy outside of France is that of a woman in a frilly dress with about two feet of hair piled on her head, who responds to the question of her subjects being unable to afford bread with the oblivious, ″Let them eat cake,″ when they are unable to afford bread.Marie-Antoinette was that woman, and she was the queen of France during the period of the French Revolution.But, despite the fact that her dress was frilly and her hair was long, could she really have spoken anything so ill-informed?According to the facts, she did not do so.
- What evidence do we have?
- A variety of factors contribute to this conclusion, beginning with the fact that the quotation in French does not refer to cake at all, but rather to brioche.
- ″They’re making brioche,″ says the narrator.
- Brioche is a delectable treat.
- Traditionally, it’s been associated with extravagance because of its rich, buttery texture.
However, if you ever attempt to serve a large loaf of brioche to the guests at a child’s birthday celebration, you will quickly discover that it is not, in fact, cake.But, in any case, the point of the remark is that this out-of-touch aristocracy was unable to comprehend the reality of living as a peasant, so perhaps this is a semantic dispute.However, the most compelling proof contradicting Marie-assertion Antoinette’s that she coined this well-known term is the fact that it was in use long before she was.Folklore scholars have discovered several variants of the same saying, some of which are slightly different, all around Europe.
It was said that a noblewoman in sixteenth-century Germany wondered why the starving peasants didn’t eat Krosem, which was a type of sweet bread that was popular at the time.″Let them eat cake,″ according to historical records, was never stated by Marie-Antoinette.While there is no evidence to support this, we do know that people have been attributing the phrase ″Qu’ils mangent de la brioche″ to her for about two hundred years – and refuting it for nearly as long.The remark was initially associated with Marie Antoinette in literature in 1843, according to a source.
According to a French writer called Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, he discovered the quotation in a book published in 1760, when Marie-Antoinette was just five years old.He believed that by doing so, the myth that she was the inspiration for the famous statement would be put to rest once and for all.Please accept my apologies, Jean-Baptiste.We’re making an effort.
Why is Marie-Antoinette so famous?
How did Marie-Antoinette come to power?
What was Marie-Antoinette’s reign like?
What was Marie-Antoinette’s family like?
How did Marie-Antoinette die?
Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna von sterreich-Lothringen, originally German Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna von sterreich-Lothringen von sterreich-Lothringen von sterreich-Lothringen von sterreich-Lothringen von sterreich-Lothringen von sterreich-Lothringen von sterreich-Lothringen von sterreich-Lothringen von sterreich Her name is connected with the collapse in the moral authority of the French monarchy during the latter years of the ancien régime, despite the fact that her courtly extravagance was only a tiny contributor to the financial difficulties that beset the French state during that era.In the face of turmoil, she refused to change, and her strategy of court opposition to the rise of the French Revolution eventually resulted in the collapse of the monarchy in August 1792.
Early life and role in the court of Louis XVI
It might be said that Marie-Antoinette was a victim of circumstance in more ways than one.After the Seven Years’ War, she spent her early adulthood as a piece on the diplomatic chessboard of Europe, as France and Austria struggled to traverse the complicated web of allegiances that had come to characterize the continent in the aftermath of the conflict.She was only 14 years old when she was married to the dauphin Louis, grandson of France’s King Louis XV, on May 16, 1770, in the Holy Roman Empire.She was the 11th daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and his wife, Maria Theresa.
- It followed her throughout her life, and she carried the stigma of being a representative of Austria at a time when any association with Vienna was unwelcome in France.
- In addition, she was unlucky in that Louis, who was shy and uninteresting, turned out to be an inattentive spouse.
- The queen had withdrew by the time Louis XVI arrived to the throne in May 1774, seeking company and distraction among a group of favorites and politically susceptible associates, whom she would have avoided if her private life had been more satisfying at the time.
- From this point forward, the princesse de Lamballe became her closest friend and confidante.
- When it came to politics, Marie-Antoinette was obliged to take a significant political role during the Revolution because of her husband’s personal weakness and lack of political convictions.
There has been a great deal written about her influence in French domestic and international affairs between the accession of Louis XVI and the start of the Revolution, and it is likely that this has been overstated.However, her efforts to achieve the restoration of Étienne-François de Choiseul, duc de Choiseul, to his rightful place in power in 1774 were failed.It is more accurate to attribute Turgot’s downfall in 1776 to the hostility of chief royal adviser Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux, comte de Maurepas, as well as the differences that arose between Turgot and foreign minister Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, over French participation in the American Revolution, rather than to direct intervention by Queen Anne.During that time period, Marie-Antoinette was not engaged in politics other than as a means of obtaining favors for her friends, and her political power never surpassed that which had previously been held by the royal mistresses of Louis XV.
In foreign policy, she experienced hostility from both Louis XVI and the Duchy of Vergennes in her attempts to further Austrian interests, and it is evident that her brother, Emperor Joseph II, was very disappointed by her lack of success in this endeavor.Even her indulgence of the constant requests of her favourites, such as Yolande de Polastron, comtesse de Polignac, did not result in a significant drain on the state’s finances, according to historians.While her other court expenses were tiny in comparison, they contributed to the massive debt amassed by the French state during this period (1770s and 1780s).After Queen Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XVI were unable to consummate their marriage and the queen was left childless in the 1770s, rivals, including the king’s own brothers, who stood to inherit the throne in the event of her childlessness, began to circulate slanderous reports of her alleged extramarital affairs.
In the Affair of the Diamond Necklace (1785), the queen was wrongfully accused of having had an illicit connection with a cardinal, which brought the vilifications to a head.It damaged the monarchy’s reputation and prompted nobility to actively resist (1787–88) any financial changes proposed by the king’s ministers, which resulted in the collapse of the monarchy.This episode was particularly damaging to the queen’s reputation since, since the birth of her daughter Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte in December 1778 and the birth of the dauphin Louis in October 1781, she had been living a calmer and more traditional life than she had previously.In March 1785, she gave birth to her second son, the future King of France, Louis XVII.
The French Revolution
The queen’s unpopularity was at an all-time high when the Estates-General assembled at Versailles in May 1789, despite the fact that she had supported Jacques Necker’s return to power at the end of August 1788 and accepted the concession of double representation to the Third Estate.Her exclusion was due to the fact that she was perceived, albeit without justification, as a member of the reactionary coterie of the king’s brother Charles, the comte d’Artois, and because of the criticisms leveled against her by the king’s cousin, Louis-Philippe-Joseph, duc d’Orléans, regarding her character.She appeared to have had little political impact by the end of May, maybe because she was preoccupied with the sickness of her eldest son, who passed away in early June.During the crises of 1789, as well as the crises that followed, Marie-Antoinette demonstrated that she was more powerful and determined than her husband.
- A crowd stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, and the queen failed in her attempt to persuade Louis XVI to seek refuge with his army at Metz.
- However, throughout the months of August and September, she was effective in encouraging him to oppose the measures of the Revolutionary National Assembly to abolish feudalism and restrict the royal prerogative that were underway.
- Thus, she became the primary target of the populist agitators, and their hostility contributed to the narrative that, when told by a government official that the people had no bread, she sneered, ″Let them have cake!″ (″They’re making brioche!″ exclaims the author.) Following intense public pressure in October 1789, the royal family was forced to retreat from Versailles to Paris, where they were taken prisoner by the Revolutionary movement.
- During this period, the queen was separated from many of her closest friends, who had fled France following the fall of the Bastille, but she maintained a high level of personal courage that helped to keep the royal family together during both the French Revolution and the subsequent calamities.
In part due to Louis XVI’s inability to make a decision, Marie-Antoinette would come to play an increasingly important role in the secret conspiracies to free the royal family from their virtual captivity in Paris.A letter from the queen to the comte de Mirabeau, a prominent member of the National Assembly who aspired to reestablish the power of the monarchy, was sent in May 1790.Mirabeau, on the other hand, was never completely trusted by her, and she was unwilling to consider the possibility of a civil war, which would have been the inevitable conclusion of Mirabeau’s first ideas.They asked for an exodus to the interior of France as well as a plea for royalist assistance in the provinces, which they failed to get.
Following Mirabeau’s death in April 1791, the queen sought assistance from émigrés and acquaintances living in other countries.The arrangements for the royal family’s escape to Montmédy, on France’s eastern boundary, were hatched with the support of the Swedish count Hans Axel von Fersen, French nobleman Louis Auguste Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, and royalist commander François-Claude-Amour de Bouillé.In order to escape from Paris on the night of June 20, they arranged for the royal couple to be apprehended at Varennes (on June 25) and escorted them back to the capital.
End of the ancien régime and execution
After the royal family’s failed attempt to flee the country, Marie-Antoinette attempted to salvage the rapidly deteriorating position of the crown by entering into secret negotiations with the leaders of the constitutional monarchists in the Constituent Assembly, namely Antoine Barnave and Theodore and Alexandre de Lameth, who were members of the Constituent Assembly at the time.To curb the growth of republicanism and bring the Revolution to a conclusion, Barnave and his brothers formed the Club of the Feuillants, a group of like-minded individuals who came together under the flag of the Revolution.In order for them to have a secret arrangement with the queen, they agreed that when the constitution had been altered in order to strengthen the executive authority of the king, Louis XVI would accept and implement the changes in a loyal and effective manner.The Feuillants’ foreign policy goal was to urge the émigrés to return to France and to prevent Emperor Leopold II (Marie-brother) Antoinette’s from becoming embroiled in a counterrevolutionary crusade against the country.
- Despite her adoption of the constitution in September 1791, the queen cautioned Leopold II that she did not support either their domestic or international policies.
- Barnave and the Feuillants were a source of concern for the queen, who remained distrustful of them.
- Instead, she argued that an armed congress of the powers was required in order to negotiate from a position of strength for the restoration of royal authority.
- The Feuillants’ pacific policy was stymied by this duplicity, but it did not deter the émigrés from pursuing more aggressive plans for the restoration of the ancien régime, which they continued to pursue.
- Despite the fact that France had declared war on Austria in April 1792, Marie-continued Antoinette’s involvement in Austrian affairs infuriated the French even more.
The storming of the Tuileries Palace and the collapse of the monarchy on August 10, 1792, were spurred on by widespread public dissatisfaction with the monarchy.Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned in Paris jails for the rest of her life after her execution.The princess de Lamballe, who had stayed faithful to the queen during the Revolution, was imprisoned with her mother and other royals.On September 3, 1792, after refusing to swear an oath against the monarchy, she was handed into the hands of a mob in Paris, who hacked off her head and paraded it around the city outside Marie-windows.
Antoinetté’s The execution of Louis XVI was ordered by the National Convention in January 1793, and the queen was placed in solitary imprisonment in the Conciergerie in August of the same year.In 1793, she was hauled before the Revolutionary tribunal and guillotined two days later, on October 14, 1793.Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Adam Zeidan was responsible for the most recent revisions and updates to this article.
Naked Cooks, Excrement, Rats: The Secretly Disgusting History of Royal Palaces
In July of 1535, King Henry VIII and his court of more than 700 persons began on an extensive official trip of the British Isles and Europe.A total of roughly 30 different royal palaces, aristocratic mansions, and religious institutions would be visited over the course of the following four months by the large entourage.While these trips were crucial public relations events for the monarch, aimed to instill loyalty in his citizens, royal families were on the road for another reason completely, which was to keep up with the times.Instead of just enjoying their enormous fortune, they were desperate to get away from the horrible filth that massive royal gatherings created.
- Palaces, such as Henry VIII’s Hampton Court, had to be evacuated on a regular basis in order to be cleaned of the mounds of human waste that had accumulated.
- After providing food for so many people, livestock and agriculture needed time to rest and recuperate as well.
- As soon as the tour was over, Henry and his growing court of over 1,000 people would continue to travel throughout the year, visiting each of the King’s 60 houses on a regular basis in an unsuccessful attempt to live in hygienic circumstances.
- Within days of a royal party’s arrival at one of the palaces, a foul odor would begin to permeate the air due to improperly abandoned food, animal waste, vermin drawn to or attracted to unwashed bodies, and human excrement (which accrued in underground chambers until it could be removed.) They would grow completely black as a result of the accumulation of filth and soot caused by the frequent fires.
- As a result of the sheer number of court members present, a comprehensive house cleaning was impossible—and ultimately pointless.″ Royal courts were often dirtier than the ordinary tiny cottage or dwelling, despite the fact that cleaning standards were substandard throughout the Medieval, Renaissance, and Regency eras of history.
For further information, please see Why Royal Women Have Given Birth in Front of Huge Crowds for Centuries.Some of history’s most illustrious reigns, such as that of Catherine the Great, took place against a backdrop of noxious odors, overcrowded quarters, overflowing chamber pots, and lice-infested furniture, among other things.As viewers today take in the splendor of Louis XIV’s opulent court at Versailles, they will miss one of the most important effects of their finery: the odor emanating from the hundreds of garments that have never been washed, all crammed together in a small, poorly ventilated chamber.And Charles II of England let his flea-bitten spaniels to lay in his bed chamber, where they ″made the whole Court unpleasant and stinking,″ according to a 17th-century source, causing the place to be ″extremely repulsive and indeed making the whole Court nasty and stinking.″ However, there is little question that the lack of waste disposal choices in a period before effective plumbing was the most serious public health problem.
When it came to royal palaces, Eleanor Herman, author of The Royal Art of Poison, describes them as ″feces and urine were everywhere.″ In some cases, courtiers didn’t even bother to seek for a chamber pot; instead, they just lowered their britches and did their business—all of their business—on a stairwell, a corridor, or a fireplace.The following was the conclusion of a 1675 report about the Louvre Palace in Paris: Every day, everyone goes to the park to take a walk on the great stairs and behind the doors, and virtually everywhere there is a mountain of feces.One smells a thousand horrible stenches created by the calls of nature, which everyone goes to do there.″ As noted by historian Alison Weir, author of Henry VIII: The King and his Court, the fastidious Henry VIII ″waged a daily war against the grime, dust, and odours that were inescapable when so many people lived in one building,″ which was exceptional for the time period in question.In order to keep tiny critters and vermin away, the king slept on a bed covered by furs, and guests were instructed not to ″wipe or rub their hands across none arrasof the King’s whereby they could be injured.″ MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: ‘The Mysterious Epidemic That Terrified Henry VIII,’ according to legend Many of the restrictions established by the King imply that the King’s war against the approaching filth was a defeat.
In order to discourage staff and courtiers from peeing on the garden walls, Henry had huge red Xs painted on the walls in trouble areas.However, instead of discouraging males from relieving themselves, it just provided them with a goal to strive for.Exhortations to refrain from dumping soiled dishes in the halls or on the King’s bed seems to have fallen on deaf ears.Amazingly, Henry was compelled to issue a decree prohibiting cooks in the royal kitchen from working ″naked, or in garments of such vileness as they do now, nor lie in the kitchen or on the ground by the fireside″ during the nights and days.
For the purpose of combating the problem, kitchen clerks were told to acquire ″honest and healthful clothing″ for the employees.In comparison, while the King himself had a rather sophisticated lavatory system in place, some waste management practices that were supposed to be sanitary now appear to be disgusting: servants were urged to urinate in vats so that their urine could be utilized for cleaning, among other things.Because genuine cleanliness was frequently impossible to achieve, the royal court resorted to disguising the scents that were bothering them.Sweet-smelling plants carpeted the palace floors, and those who were lucky enough to press sachets of aroma to their noses were rewarded.As soon as Henry and his court relocated to a new royal house, the palace was scrubbed and thoroughly cleaned to prepare it for their return.
When the royal court was in residence, the waste from the King’s non-flushing lavatory was stored in subterranean rooms for safekeeping.Although after the court had departed, the King’s Gong Scourers, who were responsible with cleaning the sewers in his royal residences near London, got to work cleaning up after themselves.When the court had been here for four weeks, the brick chambers would be crammed to the gills, according to Simon Thurley, curator of Historic Royal Palaces, who spoke to The Independent.
- ″It was the gong scourers who were responsible for cleaning them after the court had adjourned.″ It’s important to note that filthy conditions in overcrowded royal buildings were not exclusive to the English court.
- Upon her arrival in Russia from her family’s comparatively pristine German court, the future Catherine the Great was taken aback by what she discovered.
- ″It’s not uncommon to see a lady decked with jewelry and brilliantly clothed, riding in a fine carriage drawn by six ancient nags and with improperly combed valets, emerging from an extensive courtyard full of dirt and filth that belongs to a hovel of decaying wood,″ she wrote.
- Why Catherine the Great’s enemies manipulated her into becoming a hedonist Furthermore, the widespread Western European assumption that baths were harmful did not assist the situation.
- Despite the fact that Henry VIII was a clean freak who showered frequently and changed his undershirts on a daily basis, he was a royal anomaly.
- King Louis XIV is said to have bathed twice in his life, as was Queen Isabella of Castile, according to legend.
- Herman expresses himself.
- Marie-Antoinette bathed once a month, according to legend.
- The 17th century British King James I was rumored to have never bathed, resulting in lice infestations in the apartments where he spent much of his time.
- The choice of Louis XIV to no longer move from one court to another would result in an especially deplorable living environment, as the Sun King himself had predicted.
- In 1682, Louis XIV relocated his court permanently to the gilded mega-palace of Versailles in an effort to consolidate his control and subdue his nobility.
- Versailles and its surrounding apartments were home to around 10,000 royals, nobles, government officials, servants, and military officers at various points in time.
In spite of its reputation for splendor, living at Versailles was no more sanitary than the slum-like conditions that prevailed in many European towns at the time, for both royals and servants alike.While some guys urinated off the balcony in the center of the royal church while others pulled their skirts up to pee where they stood.As reported by historian Tony Spawforth, author of Versailles: A Biography of a Palace, on a walk through an internal courtyard, Marie-Antoinette was struck by human feces that had been flung out the window.
While blockages and corrosion in the palace’s iron and lead pipes were known to occasionally ″poison everything,″ including Marie-kitchen, Antoinette’s it was not uncommon for leaks from the heavily trafficked latrines to seep into the bedrooms below.It appears that not even the royal children’s apartments were safe, according to Spawforth.It is possible that an occasional court evacuation might have lessened the wear and strain on Versailles, resulting in fewer unpleasant structural problems in the future.
This unclean style of life is without a doubt responsible for a large number of fatalities in royal European homes.It was not until the nineteenth century that improvements in sanitation and technical advancements made living more comfortable for many people, even members of the royal courts.Today, many European royals continue to move from residence to residence, but this time for pleasure rather than to avoid squalor and poverty.
More on why 100 imposters claimed to be Marie Antoinette’s dead son can be found here.More information can be found at The Delusion That Led Nobles to Believe Their Bodies Were Made of Glass Learn how the mythical creature known as the unicorn horn became the poison antidote of choice for paranoid royals in this article.
Have your cake and eat it too
Proverbs are phrases that show a well-known piece of wisdom or a universal truth.The saying ″you can’t have your cake and eat it too″ is a good example of this.After discussing the meaning of the phrase ″you can’t have your cake and eat it too,″ we will consider where the phrase originated and some instances of how it is used in sentences.To say that you can’t have your cake and eat it too means that you must make a decision; you cannot have it both ways.
- A cake cannot be eaten by someone who wishes to keep it in his possession; these two options are mutually exclusive, to put it another way.
- A proverb from Albania that states that you cannot swim and not get wet, as well as a German proverb that states that you cannot dance at two wedding receptions at the same time, express the same sentiment about the necessity of making a choice.
- An early 1538 letter from Thomas, Duke of Norfolk to Thomas Cromwell contained one of the earliest known instances of the proverb ″you can’t have your cake and eat it too.″ As in the phrase ″you can’t have your cake and eat it,″ the last word of a proverb is frequently deleted in British English; for example, you cannot have your cake and eat it.
- As an example, Continentals mumble about driving a ruthless bargain: there will be no ″have your cake and eat it too″ nonsense about autonomous British access to the EU’s coveted single market if the United Kingdom does not join the EU.
- (Source: The Ottawa Citizen.) To quote Mary Beard, the classicist: ″I honestly don’t think you can have your cake and eat it, either – you can’t whitewash Rhodes out of history while continuing to use his money,″ she says.
This is according to The National Review.To the contrary, if you pretend today to be a Civil Society activist while collecting money from politicians and political parties to carry out their orders tomorrow, just remember that you cannot have your cake and eat it, as they say in the United States.(Source: The Nigerian Observer.)
After Marie Antoinette
Even if we didn’t need a reminder, the opulent exhibition simply entitled ″Marie Antoinette″ currently on display at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais is unmistakable evidence of the queen’s continuing popularity in France and across the world.Various interpretations of her life have emerged since her execution on October 16, 1793, with various accounts portraying her as the money-squandering Austrian queen, a young victim of the strict court etiquette that pervaded Versailles, a frivolous airhead intent on enjoying life’s pleasures, or, in her final year, a treacherous plotter determined to restore the monarchy.Among spite of the fact that she died more than 200 years ago, Marie Antoinette continues to evoke powerful conflicting emotions in the French people.Marie Antoinette, for all of her fame and longevity in the public eye, was not the last queen of France, despite her claims to the contrary.
- Even after the guillotine had taken the lives of regal heads, royalty was restored to power for brief periods, and a small minority of French people believe that the country would be better off as a monarchy.
- If that were to happen, however, none of the future monarchs would be a direct descendant of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, as none of their children produced an heir to the throne of England.
- In the show, the three children are seen with their mother in a series of beautiful portraits by Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun, who also created the artwork.
- Louis-Joseph, the eldest son, died of TB at the age of seven in 1789, when he was exposed to the disease.
- The younger son, Louis-Charles, the ill-fated Louis XVII, was imprisoned with his family during the French Revolution and died when he was 10 years old, according to the surviving family members.
After many years of speculation, his story continued to intrigue historians and the general public until DNA testing finally confirmed that the child who died in June 1795 in the Temple Tower prison was, after all, ″Louis-Charles Capet,″ the last king of France and the last wife of the Austrian Emperor Marie-Antoinette.Aside from Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte, who was born in 1778 and known as Madame Royale, the other children were imprisoned in the tower with their mother, but they were not allowed to see or speak with one another.She was finally swapped for captured French troops and transported to her mother’s home in Austria, where she remained until her death.She married her first cousin’s son, the son of Louis XVI’s brother, but they were unable to have children together.
She rose to prominence as a fierce supporter of her uncles, who reigned during the Restoration, and Napoleon is reported to have referred to her as ″the lone man in the Bourbon family″ during his visit to Paris in 1804.She died in exile in Vienna in 1851, but not before making a brief reappearance in French history, although for a limited while.Prior to the DNA testing, the ″Louis XVII affair″ had taken on a life of its own, with scores of adventurers claiming to be the dauphin who had managed to elude his jailers and escape to freedom.According to historian Philippe Delorme, the doctor who performed an autopsy on the body of Louis XVII when he was ten years old was able to remove his heart and preserve it for posterity.
A certain Philippe-Jean Pelletan sought to restore the heart to the royal family on a number of occasions during the Restoration, but his attempts were rebuffed, and the heart was lost as a result of the 1830 Revolution in France.Pelletan’s son was successful in retrieving the relic, which passed through several hands before arriving in Venice in 1895, where it was acquired by Don Carlos de Bourbon, then the pretender to the French throne.Finally returned to France in 1975, after nearly a century of exile in Italy and Germany, the heart was given to the Mémorial de France à Saint-Denys, an association dedicated to honoring the memory of Marie Antoine