Tis the season for a holiday giveaway! | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Tis the season for a holiday giveaway!

November 27, 2012

Tis the season for a holiday giveaway!

I am starting to get ready for the holidays early this year (if you consider this early!).  And although I do not yet have a real shopping plan, I have our holiday give-away all set!  So without further a-do....

I am excited to be giving away the Juicy Couture edition of Clue to one lucky reader! Perfect for hosting parties with tea, finger sandwiches and scandal! ;)

Complete with a fun description:

Discover the secrets behind the Crimes of Couture. The favorite Clue® game gets a very Juicy makeover. 
The game features:
-Custom game board's floor plan depicts Juicy locales such as The Shoe Salon, a Candy Room, and a Design Studio.
-Six movers.
-Nine silvertone Couture pieces.
-Six personality cards.
-Deck of rumor cards.
-Deck of intrigue cards.
-Custom score pad.
-Scandal envelope.
-Two dice.

How to Enter:
To enter simply leave a comment on this post with your favorite bit of 18th century gossip: a story about something or someone or fun fact, it can be something you have learned here or elsewhere, anything at all relating to the 18th century!

The giveaway starts now, and you may enter through midnight December 8st.  I will post the winner on  Sunday December 9th.
Good luck!


  1. I actually had no idea that Marie Antoinette loved to hunt and that she often would ride astride in pants! She was a modern day queen! Just learned that the other day.

  2. So here's a good one:
    If you were one of the 500 babies out of 1,000 to survive the age of two, you're average life expectancy was thirty-five years. Fifty was a ripe old age.

    I also found this:

    Bonus points, mayhaps? :-p Thank you so much for doing this giveaway, running such a unique and lovely blog, and granting us such an opportunity. Happy holidays!

  3. What a nice game!!

    I love the idea that maybe Marie Antoinette was the 'inventor' of the handkerchief that we know today. ♥

    "It is rumored in fashion history that Frenchwoman Marie Antoinette (1755–1793) was frustrated that handkerchiefs were offered in so many shapes: round, oval, rectangular, and so on. Her husband, King Louis XVI of France (1754–1793), made it a law that all handkerchiefs must be square, and they have remained square ever since." http://www.fashionencyclopedia.com/

  4. Did you know that after Lisbon's earthquake the royal family started to live in a tent because King Joseph I was afraid of being inside a building? And they kept living in those huge tents for decades! They were called "The Royal Sheds"...

    (Thanks for running this blog, by the way, I love reading it! :)

    Julia D.

  5. Being a milliner and fashionista I have a fascination for Marie (goes without saying). I'm not sure if it is true or just 'gossip' but she was apparently nicknamed 'Madame Deficit' due to her enormous wardrobe and extraordinary hats! My husband has given me that nickname too. By the way I'm also having a giveaway next week...well it is xmas

  6. Oh, I'd so love to win this! One of my favorite bits of 18th century gossip is Ben Franklin's propensity for "cold air baths," basically sitting in the cool air in the nude in the belief that it was good for your health. He certainly was an oddball...


  7. I took a history of Versailles class last semester and learned for the first time about the Diamond Necklace Affair. Probably the most expensive necklace ever made, it was originally meant for Madame du Berry. However, when Louis XV died, du Berry was banished from court before the necklace was complete. The jeweler then tried to sell the necklace to the only other person he knew could afford it in France: Marie Antoinette. She refused the necklace. Cardinal Rohan,who was at odds with Marie, was tricked into buying the necklace thinking he could regain the queen's favor. He handed it over to a woman impersonating the queen and necklace was never seen again. The cardinal was arrested but the largest amount of blame, however, was placed on the totally uninvolved Marie Antoinette.

  8. There was a criminal/boxer in London, James Field, who was so feared by the London Police that they would pretend not to recognize him so they would not have to arrest him!

  9. It was believed that women fainted due to pent up hysterics caused by women's over sensitive emotions that suddenly exploded.

  10. Some say the Empress Josephine's cousin, Aimée du Buc de Rivéry, who went missing in 1787, was the Valide Sultan, Nakshedil Haseki, for the Ottoman Empire under Mahmud II. She was the Sultan's stepmother and introduced the French language and customs to the Ottoman court. Apparently, that Westernization led to Sultan Mahmud's deposition.

  11. That game is adorable. I take in history facts like air, but I always liked that the teenage Princess Charlotte of Wales ran away from her tyrannical father George IV. She took a public carriage to her infamous mother's house and stayed there until they dragged her back to Carleton House!

  12. Another example of necklace shennanigans occurred around Louis 16- It was said the the 'French Blue' diamond could have been involved with the 'Hope' Diamond. Rumor has/had it that when he was beheaded, he was wearing the order of the golden fleece necklace, which had a giant blue diamond. Wehn he was beheaded, the diamond as also severed, thus creating 2 large blue diamonds. It has since been disproven, but a fun story none the less.

  13. While there happens to be too much interesting bits of gossip revolving around the queen, my favorite fact I learned on a certain English show informed me that the court at Versailles would use the bathroom behind curtains, plants, in corners, and mainly wherever they felt the need to. Shocking to imagine Marie squatting in the corner!

    Clue is one of my favorite games, but sadly my copy was lost in a house fire years ago. This version looks adorable! Thank you for the wonderful blog. I read this religiously.

  14. ""When Sally Salisbury was feeling particularly saucy (and this girl always was, believe me), she would stand on her head, naked and spread her legs for the boys, encouraging them to "chuck" gold coins into her vagay-gay. The sky was the limit with this one. For it was quite literally a game. She kept the coins that were tossed but what about those that actually landed *in* her vagay-gay by the lucky tosser? You guessed it. He got laid."

    clever girl!

  15. That board game is lovely, and reading all this gossip is great! I recently read that once, Louis XIV was confronted by a prostitute with third degree burns on her bottom, which she received when the king's younger brother, the Duke of Orleans, used her butt as the launch pad for his fireworks. Granted, I couldn't really find any hard sources to confirm it or anything, but it's still an interesting tidbit!

    Also, even though it's something that happened in the 19th century, here's something interesting: I read a book while working in a library about an African princess who was given by an African King to Queen Victoria as a present. The Queen housed her with several families and got her a formal education before she married a businessman and moved back to Africa (which she actually hated after having lived in England so long).

  16. Why, the HELLFIRE CLUB, of course!


    Some tales fact, some tales fiction, but all worthy of a gasp or two!

  17. When­ Marie Antoinette died under the heavy blow of the guillotine on Oct. 16, 1793, it was a decidedly unglamorous affair. That's not to say it wasn't a celebration: Many French revolutionaries were ecstatic to bid the extravagant queen adieu forever. After the blade came down, the executioner brandished Marie Antoinette's head in a triumphant wave so that the entire crowd could see it.

    Yet for the thousands of people gathered to watch the scene, it was a disappointment. They'd wanted to see the 38-year-old woman quake in fear and cower penitently. A well-known 18th-century journalist and revolutionary, Jacques Hébert, wrote in the newspaper Le Père Duchesne that she was "bold and impudent to the very end" [source: Amiel]. Despite the fact that the executioner had cut off all her hair and ordered her to don a threadbare white shift (likely soiled by the time she made it up the steps to the guillotine -- she'd been hemorrhaging for days), she maintained her composure.

    Marie Antoinette's death was one of the biggest scandals of her life. Was it good riddance or not? To this day, there are wavering opinions about the young queen. Sympathizers point to the fact that young Antoine, as she was called in her native Austria, was nothing more than a bargaining chip for her mother. When she was only 10 years old, her mother arranged for her to wed Louis Auguste, a carefully orchestrated union that would join the Austrian Hapsburgs and the French Bourbons. But detractors argue that while she had very little say in the conditions of her life, she certainly could have lived her days at court in a fashion more befitting the queen of a nation on the cusp of revolution.

    While there's no point in deliberating her virtue or vices, we can delight in being voyeurs into the opulent court at Versailles, the scene of many Marie Antoinette scandals. We begin with the oft-quoted dismissal of her hungry subjects.