Le 14 Juillet 1789 | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Le 14 Juillet 1789

July 13, 2009

Le 14 Juillet 1789

A few quick bits about the Bastille.

It was built in the 14th century and served to guard one of the principle entrances to Paris.

Voltaire was imprisoned at the Bastille twice.

Thousands were involved with the storming of the Bastille, and near 100 people did not survive. Of everyone only 650 were named 'Conquerors of the Bastille' and just 1 was a woman.

Rumors and images were circulated at an incredible rate, adding to the reputation of the event.

Only 7 prisoners were found inside and two were certified. (insane)

A famous character who dwelled in the Bastille was The Man in the Iron mask. He was forced to wear a  mask and not even the guards knew who he was. His story was somewhat fabricated, whereas records indicate that there was indeed a man kept in a mask for a few years, the mask was made of velvet not iron.



  1. So they never found out who the man was? And it wasn't an iron mask it was velvet? How these stories get stretched!

  2. come on , admit it,
    Heather and Lauren are
    one and the same lady !

  3. Haha what a busy lady that would be! I can barely keep up with my own blog, and Lauren can't even answer my silly question

  4. She would be a fearsome thing to behold indeed!

    yea they have records of who it was, and yes according to those records it was a velvet mask. And I think the dates were late 17th cent to early 18th. Ta-Da! Answered!

  5. 1 velvet and iron are not mutually exclusive

    2 there is not just the popular wrath of 14 july, there is also the royal clemency of july 17

  6. maybe you are just both
    18th century bonkers, but coming at it from different sides of the English Channel !
    I ve yet to have a good look at Laurens blog yet,
    but if its half as good as
    Heathers Duch of Dev's blog it will be brilliant.

    Going back to the man in the mask question , I read a theory recently that the prisoner was in fact the playwrite.. Molliere.... he was
    criticizing the government... he was anti clerical... just the guy the authorities would like to gag.
    Result ... they faked his death and secretly locked him away !

  7. Well that goes without saying, we are def 18th c bonkers! It's a horribly fabulous ailment.

    The Moliere theory is a very interesting one! Maybe, since the mask was velvet, it was just someone who was insecure about their pock marks. I'm going to have to begin reading up on all the various theories!