you say you want a revolution

hi guys, how’s your weekend going? i hope it’s a perfect july saturday wherever you are!  i’ve been obsessing for the past hour on the french revolution. it’s something i just never knew much about, a french holiday… certainly didn’t know details but googling for illustrations i came across so much it’s mind boggling. first and foremost, it’s official: marie antoinette did not say ‘let them eat cake’.

i wonder how french women feel about marie antoinette? how could she possibly be as revered and beloved as she is here? her fate was so tragic but she gave so much to france. i honestly don’t know. i don’t see how to view her except as a scapegoat. she was dropped off to be married in another country at 13 and completely sheltered forever after. she had no idea what was happening outside the walls of her world. her only crime was not seeing the real world or knowing enough to try and find out about it. but as kurt cobain said, ‘all we know is all we are…’

well, she left her beautiful way of life behind for us to judge

was it a charmed life or a gilded cage?

definitely full of pretty days

who knew the charge for revolt would be led by the ladies? women initiated storming versailles when the price of bread got just too damn high.

it’s hard to believe anyone would ever trash paris but they said we’ll burn it down before we starve!

our beloved city, once almost lost

revolts in the street at the hotel de ville

fire in the center of the city! they demanded change.

i had never read the rights of man and woman before today.

among other things, equality began to emerge from the chaos


but that was just the beginning! the good fight had to be fought again and again.

i wish you happy bastille day, france, whatever it means to you personally and as a nation!


tonight when you watch the fireworks and stroll the gardens it will seem surreal. like it’s always been this way. let’s hope it always is. have a great night!


July 14, 2012. Bastille Day, France, French Revolution, Holidays.


  1. Nikon replied:

    You did a great job of researching artwork! Very nice visuals.
    I hope that everyone has a happy Bastille Day!


  2. Peggy Braswell replied:

    Have many french friends I have sent this in France or in the States. Grand post.


  3. Rhonda replied:

    Very informative, I’ve seen the movies and read the books about Marie but this post had more to tell. I cannot get enough of her and Versailles stole my heart when I went. To walk where MA walked, to touch the gate of her Petite Trianon, I was in dreamland.


  4. Paris Rendez-vous replied:

    Fabulous post Claudia.


  5. Jullie Joy Dodds replied:

    Love this i never knew the story behind the face being in Australia she is just a lovely figure that i like to use in my art,I love your posts,


  6. Jan Dolphin replied:

    A great Bastille Day posting – Merci
    Jan Dolphin, author:” Paris From The Heart”


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      hi jan great to hear from you, we’ll finally host the giveaway for your book. i’ll post it tomorrow!


  7. Rebecca Grace replied:

    Claudia, did you read about the gross sexual cartoons about M.A. that were in the press just before the sh* hit the fan? There was an ugly misogynistic undercurrent to the French Revolution, a sense that undue female influence had “corrupted” the monarchy, and she was the ultimate scapegoat. In her trial, they even tried to accuse her of having a sexual relationship with her own son, totally unfounded and so outrageous that even the unfriendly crowd of revolutionaries wouldn’t buy it. In one of her last letters she wrote “mes pauvres enfants, mes yeux n’ont plus delarmes pour pleurer pour vous. Adieu!”. The whole thing was such a tragedy.


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      i honestly couldn’t believe some of the drawings, so vicious and brutal, i can’t even say what they were doing in celebration…it’s amazing anyone ever got over any of it. i guess all we can do now is learn from those who came before us so we don’t do the same things. it was supposed to be the dawn of the age of enlightenment but it was definitely still on the cusp between brutality and civility!


  8. viva replied:

    There’s so much to love about this woman and she continues to fascinate me. She wasn’t as heartless and frivolous as she’s made to be : In her beloved Hameau, she employed local workers and families, thus provided roof and work for them. It wasn’t merely an escape from her regulated life at the Court, it was a place where she would take her children to teach them about nature, animals and appreciation of the simpler things in life. I love visiting this place and also admire her love of arts and her playful nature.


  9. designchic replied:

    What wonderful research and such an informative Bastille Day post!!


  10. christine95037 replied:

    The Bastille. My mom, who was an ex-nun, used to call her years in the convent “the Bastille”. As a kid I got very confused when I heard about the French Revolution.


  11. arod replied:

    wow great post & pics and info thanks so much for sharing
    hope your having a wonderful week


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