February 24, 2012

Downton Abbey Inspired Fashion and Style for Everyday

I loved the costumes in Downton Abbey this season.  Now that we are waiting for season 3 of Downton Abbey,  I thought I would put together a list of items that would fit into one's wardrobe (modern items) that could be Downton inspired.

Check out my list here:

February 21, 2012

Bad Influences?

"...I found, as I so often do, that whatever is blameworthy in the Dauphine's conduct is due to the promptings of her aunts."

A letter by the Comte de Mercy to Maria Theresa

February 13, 2012

Mother Knows Best: Peer Pressure

“Too much compliance is degrading; you must play your own part, if you wish to be valued. If you do not, I foresee great trouble before you; nothing but mischief-making and plots, which will make your life unhappy. Believe the advice of a mother, who knows the world and idolizes her children, and desires only to pass her sad days in being useful to them.”
Maria Theresa, 13 October 1777

February 07, 2012

Dairy Queens, Bastards, Jest and more Books to check out

Gerber, Matthew. 2012. Bastards: Politics, Family, and Law in Early Modern France. New York: Oxford University Press.

My reading list is getting bigger again (every now and then I go a little crazy and book browsing turns into heavy duty book shopping!...I am not alone right?)

So I thought I would share some of the works I am most excited about with you!

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), Constance C. McPhee, and Nadine Orenstein. 2011. Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine . New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Desan, Suzanne, and Jeffrey Merrick. 2009.Family, Gender, and Law in Early Modern France. University Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State University Press.

McMurran, Mary Helen. 2010. The Spread of Novels: Translation and Prose Fiction in the Eighteenth Century (Translation/Transnation). Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Williams, Carolyn D., Angela Escott, and Louise Duckling. 2010. Woman to Woman: Female Negotiations During the Long Eighteenth Century. Newark: University of Delaware Press.

Martin, Meredith. 2011. Dairy Queens: The Politics of Pastoral Architecture from Catherine de' Medici to Marie-Antoinette . Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

And finally, I want to suggest Jane Austen Made me Do it. This book is edited by our very own Laurel Ann Nattress and is full of short stories all inspired by Jane Austen's characters.  It is a fun and easy read, and I digested a story each night before bed. So put it on your must-read-for-fun list if you also can't  get enough of Ms. Austen!

Nattress, Laurel Ann. 2011. Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart. New York: Ballantine Books Trade Paperbacks.

One of my readers has suggested the following title:

The Journal of Madam Knight:
A diary kept in 1704 by Sarah Kemble Knight on her hazardous round-trip journey from Boston to New York. Filled with witty comments on the manner of the people Madam Knight encountered, the lack of suitable accommodations, and the geography of early New England.
Sounds great!

For more book suggestions check out my Eighteenth Century Book List.
Happy reading!!

February 03, 2012

Exhibition: The 18th Century City / 18th Century Google Maps!

The latest exhibition at the Grand Palais is called France in Relief, Masterpieces from the collection of relief maps of Louis XIV to Napoleon III. The show features amazing scaled-down maps of some primary European cities made of wood, paper, metal and silk.  In a way, they are like the 18th century version of Google Maps.

The 3D maps were created for military purposes at the time, to aid in the preparation of war.  During the 18th century they went on display to reinforce the power France held. But today they serve to teach us about the development of borders, town planning, map-making, historical towns (that have since been destroyed and rebuilt) and even siege warfare.

The maps are so well made and realistic you can picture the 18th century cities just as they were; the detail in the architecture of buildings and layout of each city gives us a fresh perspective on historical urban life.  To create the maps, surveyors and engineers were sent out across the country to measure and record the details of assigned towns. There are 16 maps on view, all from the collection of the Grand Palais. The cities include:

Fort Barraux (Isère), 
Montmélian (Savoy), 
Exilles (Italy)
Fenestrelle (Italy)
Embrun (Hautes-Alpes)
Grenoble (Isère)
Briançon (Hautes-Alpes)
Mont-Dauphin (Hautes-Alpes) 
Besançon (Doubs)
Neuf-Brisach (Haut-Rhin)
Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin)
Bergen op Zoom (Netherlands)
Saint-Omer (Pas-de-Calais)
Cherbourg (Manche) 
Brest (Finistère)

Check out this video on the exhibition, you will be amazed at the size and detail in each map!

If you can make it to this show, it is on view until February 17, 20
 Video via Liberation Next

Would love to hear your thoughts if you see it!

Nef du Grand Palais
Entrée principale
Avenue Winston-Churchill - 75008 Paris

Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wenesday, Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Closed Tuesday

5 €, concessions 2,50 €