05.09Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: 05.09

May 25, 2009

Apartments of the Duc & Duchesse d'Orléans

Marie Antoinette's great grandparents, the Duc & Duchesse d'Orléans were quite the pair! The fact that they were complete opposites was demonstrated throughout their home.

The apartments they occupied were uniquely their own; of Philipe they were heavily scented (remember he loved his fragrances), he sprayed and applied enough perfume for days! He kept many fancy toys and knick-knacks hanging around-everywhere! He had delicate porcelains and ornate trinkets.

Quite the opposite from the stuffy, scented rooms of Philipe were those of his wife Liselotte. Just next door she kept her windows open during every season! She loved to have fresh air circulating throughout the room, and indeed it was healthy (she was very health conscious). She kept the walls clear, aside from portraits of her German relatives. Not many trinkets were found cluttering up the space and she also kept several pets. Birds, dogs, etc. This made it even more important for the place to be aired out regularly!

May 20, 2009

Alchemy, espionage, intrigue, and treachery…

Hmm.... What do you think? I LOVE the soundtrack! ;o)

"Here you are with Oscar at Versailles in 1682. An elaborate investigation awaits you. To solve it, you will need to put yourself into the skin of a 17th century gentleman (oh my!) and avoid the traps set for you by a mysterious enemy…

To achieve your goal you will need humour, logic and shrewd judgment. (sounds about right!)
Fight with a dagger! Dance the Menuet! Use your catapult as in these old days. The Sun King, Vauban, Seignelay and over 30 fun, sinister and brilliant characters accompany you! Valets, Marquesses and knaves, they are all there to help you, to entertain you, or to challenge you!

Discover the Château de Versailles in 1682, the King’s apartments, the gardens,
the menagerie and the town, as well as numerous other areas of Versailles, some well-known, others unexpected!"

May 18, 2009


It's the late 18th century and you have nothing to do except shop! When selecting the details of the frock you would like made, there are lots of choices to be made! First, fabric. Color is also important, what was in 2 weeks ago? What is in now, but more importantly, what has the Queen ordered? As that will be in 2 weeks from now!

You might want to take careful consideration to which buttons you choose. Steel buttons always look very nice, especially polished. However, they do tend to rust, and that alone will ruin the garment! This can be prevented, but they require cleaning more than often, to keep them in pristine shape.

A more affordable and dazzling solution would be Mother of Pearl buttons! They are more fashion forward, new and exciting! Especially compared to metal and steel buttons. They catch the light and look very elegant and more ornamental than heavy metal ones. Usually they were large and stood out on a garment. They are also very durable and tend not to chip! As far as price, they come from a variety of shell types, so prices could be very reasonable!

May 16, 2009

Femme of the Week: Duchesse de Berri

Marie Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon-Orléans was the first daughter of Philippe Charles, Duke of Orléans who was the Regent to Louis XV. Her mother was Madame Lucifer, and grandmother was Liselotte. She was born at Versailles on August 20, 1695.

Growing up she always had her own way and was a complete daddy's girl. She disliked her mother, as her father did. When she was only 9 she went on a hunt with her father, and their party noted her spoiled behavior.

When she was 15, her mother wanted her to marry the Duc de Berri, (the king's youngest grandson) however, her mother's sister the Princess of Condé wanted her daughter to be his wife. Although the Princess of Condé's daughter was very lovely, she was 2 years older than Louise Élisabeth and certain parties of the court preferred Louise. She knew she was in the running to marry such a prize as the duc de Berri. In the end things went Louise Élisabeth's way!

When her betrothal was announced, those against the marriage were quick to spread the worst rumors and gossip throughout Versailles and even Paris. The rumor that the duc d'Orleans and Louise Élisabeth had incestuous relations were talked about the most, a complete scandal to the family.

The wedding still happened, and the ceremony was lovely. Yet scandal continued to follow. After the wedding, as the new husband and wife were escorted to their residence, guests gathered to watch the lovely scene. Most of the fell victim to pick-pockets who mixed in by dressing as priest and ordinary invited guests!

The marriage to the duc was good for a few months, but before long the two were fighting in public, much to the displeasure of the king. Married in June, a scene in August left her husband very unhappy... She was at St. Cloud and had a little too much to drink. (Think Lindsay Lohan) She was so drunk that she blacked out and had to be driven back home before she could cause any harm to herself or expensive objects near her!

Sadly her husband did love her, but her progressive actions made the love cool over time. A catty girl, she picked a fight with her sister-in-law the Duchess of Burgundy. The fight cooled the relationship between her husband and his brother. This was fine until the Dauphin died making the Duchess of Burgundy the Dauphine and her husband Dauphin! Louise Élisabeth was totally loathed at court!

Louis XIV scolded her in a way that said 'he did not want to have this discussion again,' being the ultimate mortification anyone could receive. As a result many at court avoided her all together. Eventually she began to ignore her husband, and any love he had for her died. She mocked him publicly and made fun of his beliefs. He was so unhappy he even considered asking his grandfather (Louis XIV) for a separation! And all this was before he knew of her affair!

She had been sleeping with his first Chamberlain, and was trying to convince the man to steal her away to Holland! He was too cowardly to go through with it (someone had a head on their shoulders) but the scandal spread through the court and we can only assume the duc de Berri heard it too. Shortly after the scandal broke when a scene was reported, that in front of a large group of people the duc "took his wife by the neck and kicked her bottom repeatedly, threatening to shut her up in a convent for the rest of her life."

May 11, 2009

What Would Marie Do?

I received a What Would Marie Do question that I thought was so fun I would leave it open for all of you to help answer! Let's see how many solutions and ideas we can get here! Leave your ideas in the comments section! Links to pictures are welcome!!

Dear Marie,

I have a full time job and I work in an office cubicle, that is 2 walls, gray, an L shaped desk, and some gray metal cabinets. Nothing hangs on the walls except a calendar and some notes. It is so bare!

It is just not as 18th century fabulous as I would like. I know you would not, but if you worked in a space like this everyday, what would you do to infuse 18th century style into the space?

Thank you,

Cubicle Girl
My first suggestion is to switch out your calendar for a fabulous Art calendar with your favorite works in it!
Well readers, what do you think Marie would do? What would you do to create a fun space that is not disappointing to spend time in? I can't wait to hear what you come up with!

May 08, 2009

1,2,3...Happy Birthday!!

Welcome to the Gossip Party!

Below please enjoy the wonderful bits of gossip submitted by YOU! I have enjoyed reading the entries all week, so I hope you have some pink champagne and queen cakes to indulge while you read. Also, I wanted to thank everyone again for visiting the site and contributing your knowledge and wit! I always look forward to hearing from you!

Eliza Ward says: Hey Lauren--did you hear about how the King's mistress, Athenais, was too lazy to look after their children, so she forced her friend to do it? Well it sure backfired on her! The King forgot all about Athenais and shacked up with her friend! In fact, he even married her! I guess those love potions Athenais tried to use on the King didn't work!

Júlia says: Jeanne de La Motte was very good when it came to scheme and win money (lots of it!), and imagine, the robbery that made her famous affected Marie-Antoinette herself! It is known as the Affair of The Necklace, because the purpose of that affair was to steal a massive diamond necklace made for Marie-Antoinette, that, obviously, as most things that the Queen wore, costed millions. This whole affair involves a cardinal, La Motte's lover, husband, the magician Cagliostro, and a looot of other shocking personalities and facts, one of them being that the affair made Marie-Antoinette hugely unpopular, although she was not to blame!

Alissa says: Much is known about the strange ingenuity of 18th century hair. These lovely coiffures oft attracted equal admiration from pests as they did humans (not that the two are mutually exclusive, of course). However, there is only one known case of intentional insect habitation; when the Princesse de Machin had her long locks arranged round a birdcage full of living butterflies.

Marie says:
Did you know that Ma
rie Antoinette had a kind of love affair with her stable boy before she moved to France? She did not have a hot and heavy romantic affair but more of she fantasized about him because of his physical appearance (especially because how bad the dauphin looked). Their affair was more of a deep forbidden unspoken love.

Paris Atelier says: A certain mistress of the King has been said to have been a prostitute and used wicked whiles to coerce him to bed her. All the while finding other prostitutes to pacify him while she held her position in the court and over the King.....hmmmm, sounds like scandal to me!

Sandra says:
To think that the "Belle Murphy" is now trying to replace Madame de
Pompadour as maîtresse-en-titre! Miss O'Murphy is a "graduate" of the Parc aux Cerfs, the brothel Madame de Pompadour set up herself for the king's pleasure. Casanova may have been impressed with the girl but she has definitely overstepped her bounds.

Elyse says: Pst, did you hear that that Voltaire has moved in with the marquise du Châtelet ... and that Émilie placed before him in a essay competition on the nature of fire?

Lucy says: Seems that back in the 18thc., chocolate was loved for more than its obvious reasons…it was also great for masking the taste of poison… In 1774, Pope Clement XI, who feared being murdered after having disagreed with certain Jesuits, mysteriously died after drinking a cup of chocolate brought to him by his favourite confectioner- who, by the way, also died later that very same day. Coincidence? All the hype was disproved by an autopsy…Regardless; the rumor stuck.

Dana says: Rumors can now be put to rest regarding the recent and continuously scandalous activities of Lady Sarah Lennox. For behavior most unbecoming a lady and great-granddaughter of a king, Lady Sarah has left her dowdy of a husband, Charles Burnbury for the safe haven of her lover, Lord William Gordon. Lord William Gordon is believed to be the father of her young daughter Louisa.

Mary says: Felicite de Genlis, mistress of the duc d'Orleans, had the ultimate revolutionary accessory: a polished shard of the fallen Bastille made into a brooch. Her stone was set in a wreath of emerald laurel leaves tied at the top in a jewelled tricolour rosette, and inlaid with the word 'Liberte' in diamonds.

says: My all time favorite gossip about Marie Antoinette would probably be the affair of the diamond necklace. It was commissioned by Louis XV but he died without being able to pay for it causing the jewelers to be on the verge of bankruptcy. This is why they tried so many schemes to get Marie Antoinette to buy it and ultimately ruined her popularity with the people of France because she was spending all of France's money on diamonds.

Cathy says: The Duc de Lauzun is quite delicious my dear, but he is completely besotted with Lady Sarah Bunbury, you know the one the English king threw over to marry that plain little Princess Charlotte What’s Her Face. They say Lady Sarah’s husband is more interested in his horses than his wife and even brought that nice young Lord Carlisle with them here to Paris to keep her entertained, but I do believe Lauzun is going to beat Carlisle to her bed. Shall we wager on it?

Anabel says:
This was a very interesting gossip:
"When Madame du Barry was femme de chambre to the widow La Garde her two sons ended up falling in love with her. She was a temptress and trotted around knowing just what she was doing. The brothers fought tirelessly and violently over her until the poor widow, already heart broken over the loss of her husband, had to force Jeanne to leave her house!"

Katy says:
I heard that Comtesse de Provence gossiped about the Queen of France herself and smelled HORRIBLE to boot.

Tina says:
The Danes do it... with physicians! The Queen of Denmark, that poor Caroline Matilda, is having an affair with her husband's physician, Johann Friedrich Streuensee! She is totally besotted with him, flaunting their relationship openly for everyone to see, riding stride through the park and using men's clothes and now she is pregnant with the Doctor all the while that wild German Quack is administering drugs and ice cold baths to King Christian every morning and very busily taking over the country from the poor insane man! They're already calling it the Era of Streuensee and he is officially the King's maître des requêtes and quite in the middle of a mania of reform, issuing several cabinet orders a day and offending every local sensibility he can manage!

I enjoyed all this gossip so much!! I really think we should do this more often, just sit down and dish it all! So thank you again for entering!
OK, what you have all been waiting for I am sure, these are the winners of the Give Away!

The lucky winners selected out of the good old Hat (software!) are:
Anabel - Queen of Fashion
Lucy - Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France
Allisa - Marie Antoinette, DVD
Eliza - Marie Antoinette, DVD
Congrats!!! Send your info along to me, I will contact you all if I do not hear from you!
Enjoy the weekend and have some Champagne for us!

May 07, 2009

Give Away Count Down!

The Countdown has begun!
You now have until midnight tonight to submit your gossip to either Heather or I for the Gossip Party which will be held tomorrow on both of our blogs. Remember, email either of us with your 18th century gossip and you will be qualified to win some fabulous prizes from each of our blogs.

English Gossip = GeorgianaGossip (at) Gmail.com

French Gossip = MarieAntoinetteGossip (at) Gmail.com

Of course, don't forget to to write which prize you prefer at the bottom of the email! And if you have any questions at all about the Give Away just email me and I will get right back to you!
Can't wait to hear your gossip!!
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Gossip Party Rules & How to Enter

May 04, 2009

Give Away!

Here is a friendly reminder that there are only 3 more days to enter for your chance to win a prize for the Gossip Party Give-Away!

Details on how to enter are at the bottom of this post!

You Can Win...
Up for grabs are Marie Antoinette, (2006 Region 1,) directed by Sofia Coppola. Candy classic for your collection! The costumes (if you have not seen it) are amazing!

Also the fun & fabulous book Queen of Fashion by Caroline Weber. It really takes a close look at what Marie Antoinette wore and when she wore it. I swear it highlights the significance of each piece of taffeta!

Lastly we have Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France, in hardcover. This book is so engaging it will keep the pages turning! It has some great images inside and you really get a clear image of life during the court of Louis XV!

Get your entries in,and don't forget to enter Heather's Give Away for your chance to win The Duchess (DVD) & Georgiana (biography!) And finally, good luck!!

"OMG did the Queen just drive by?!"

Louis ruled over France for 10 months before his coronation ceremony at Reims, naturally many wanted to see the new king and his queen! When he was crowned he never formally greeted the crowds of people who came to see him, but he did take the time to lay a stone at the University of Reims...

Afterward they newly crowned king and his lady traveled to Louis-le-Grand, (not Fedde-le-Grand!) where they were to hear a speech at the University of Paris. It was raining though, so they didn't get out of their carriage for the speech! I mean, they were dressed to impress!

Needless to say some people were kind-of bummed out...

May 01, 2009

Let's Party! Gossip Guides' Bloggiversary!

In the early days before the Gossip Guides had formed, Heather and I would have mini Gossip Parties where excited discussions of rumors took place - while stopping for the occasional queen-cake or cup of tea.

In celebration of running the the Gossip Guides for *1 year* we would like to host an 18th Century Gossip Party and invite all of you! It has been so much fun to keep the blogs this year, and neither of us ever imagined the number of followers and friends we would make here. So our Gossip Party is a way of saying thank you and let's celebrate!

18th Century Gossip Party!

We are going to throw this party in honor of our bloggiversary (everyone is doing it!) To celebrate we will have a long 'wall of gossip' built by you!

It will be posted on our bloggiversary, Friday 8 May. So on May 8, you can visit us (bring your own queen-cakes & tea) and we can read and discuss gossip together!

The Party doubles as a Give Away ... SO make sure you enter for a chance to win either a DVD or book! (your choice):
  • Marie Antoinette, 2006 DVD (region 1)
  • Queen of Fashion, Caroline Weber
  • Madame de Pompadour, Christine Pevitt Algrant
How to Enter:
Email your favorite piece of
18th century gossip to Lauren or Heather. This can be gossip you have read here and loved, or new gossip that hasn't been published on the blogs before. French Gossip to Heather will not be accepted, nor English to Lauren. Juicy 18th century gossip from other countries will be accepted. Entries will be accepted through Thursday May 7.


1. 18th Century Gossip can be no longer than 3 sentences.
2. You may only enter 1 piece of gossip per website.
3. Subject line must be
18th Century Gossip.4. Specify if you prefer to enter for a book, a movie or either at the bottom of the email.

The Gossip Party will be held across Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide & The Duchess of Devonshire's Gossip Guide, so be sure to enter on both websites!! More chances to win and to participate!