Saturday, July 21, 2012

New week, new challenge at Inspiration Avenue, this time the inspiration
of Hettienne who has just returned from Paris. Lucky lady!
When I get around to making my bucket list, a trip to Paris
will be on it, as I've never been there.

Even though there's a wealth of information about Paris
on the internet, how to do a post about a place I have never been?

I've been making bookmarks lately, so I decided to make one 
featuring Marie Antoinette, one of my favorite people.
Then the challenge is to make it a concise blog post
about a person with an amazing life and an amazing death.
So much to say about her!

Not an original Parisienne, Marie was born in Austria, 
the youngest daughter of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, 
and Austrian Empress Maria Theresa.
She was promised in marriage as a young girl to the dauphin Louis, 
grandson of Louis XV of France.
He ascended the throne in 1774 as Louis XVI.
Their marriage, like so many arranged marriages,
did not get off to a good start but eventually I believe
they worked out their many differences.
Poor Marie. She was accepted at first by the people of France,
but her frivolity and extravagances during terrible times of
poverty and starvation caused growing resentment.
However, even though she was out of touch with the
plight of the poor, she never said, "Let them eat cake."

She was a strong young girl, who had been brought up by a strong mother,
the Empress Maria Theresa, when she arrived in France.
I think she showed tremendous strength to the end.
Responding to the priest who had accompanied her to the
foot of the guillotine, who whispered,
“This is the moment, Madame,
to arm yourself with courage”,
she replied,

Courage! I have shown it for years; 

think you I shall lose it at the moment 

when my sufferings are to end?”

Her unpopularity helped lead to the overthrow of the monarchy
when Parisiennes stormed the Tuileries palace on Aug. 10, 1792,
followed by the establishment of the First French Republic in September.

Marie Antoinette was executed by the guillotine on October 16, 1793.
She was charged with aiding the enemy and inciting civil war.  

My bookmark will be making its way to my Etsy shop,
since I read all my books on my Kindle nowadays.
Such a shame, cause there's nothing like a good, favorite bookmark!

But speaking of reading, I've read 2 good book about Marie
(I plan to continue reading about her,
if anyone has read a good one, let me know!)

Becoming Marie Antoinette: A Novel by Juliet Grey
covers the years from age ten in Austria until she
made the journey to France to wed the Dauphin Louis.

Also great: Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran.
(Yes, that Madame Tussaud.) Marie Tussaud had her first "salon" in Paris
during the time of the French Revolution, and was requested by
King Louis XVI's sister to give her instruction in making wax models.
So she became close to her and was privy to the doings of the royal family.

Both are novels, but the authors have been careful about facts.

So that's all I have, not nearly enough detail about Marie,
but plenty for a blog post about a bookmark!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and stop by Inspiration Avenue
on Sunday to see the Paris Gallery of challenge results!


  1. Maggie - your book mark is stunning! I love marie. I now read on my iphone, and I miss my collection of book marks. x

  2. I love a good history lesson. I really enjoyed the way you made Marie come to life for me. The bookmark is stunning, and quite representational of Marie in her glory years. I had no idea she didn't say "Let them eat cake." I've heard it all my life.

  3. I love your story about Marie!!
    and Patty if you have the chance you really should go and visit Paris, it's such a fantastic city. I visit Paris at least once a year for more than 15 years now and I love it!!!! and.. each time I discover a new place or park or street with a nice vieuw etc etc.

  4. Maggie, what a wonderful post! I love the fact that you told the correct story of Marie Antoinette! I always feel that she is villified and that she was really the victim of her time and class and that she was indeed a brave woman - she chose to be executed when she had the choice to flee and leave her childred behind. I also visited Madame Tussaud's in London and her history at the court of Louis and Marie Antoinette was beautifully shown in wax! all very interesting. I am so happy I do not live in those times although I love historical novels myself!!

  5. Beautiful bookmark; rich in colour & design! A lovely theme which I planned to join in with but the end of school/school summer holidays got the better of my time & energy. I would also love to visit Paris & fully intend to one day, hopefully not too far into the future.

    This week's swirl theme is one of my favourite yet (mainly cause I'm obsessed with swirls in my creations). I definitely want to carve out time to join in with this week.

    Kat Xx

  6. what a wonderful way to do the challenge... Marie on a bookmark!!... with lots of history too! Beautiful bookmark Maggie! and you accented your work perfectly with the ribbon and beads! love it! XOXO :)


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