Monday, September 27, 2010

Changes to Amphorae

Hi everyone,

Just a quick announcement, over on my other blog, Amphorae, I've made some changes and will now be covering all other timeperiods not including the 18th century, on a rotating schedule. Sundays are for Regency and Victorian-related information, so today's post was on all nine of Queen Victoria's children. Up next, Classical Antiquity; I'm thinking maybe a Greek recipe. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And I Quote...Marquise de Sevigne

"There is nobody who is not a danger to someone."- Marquise de Sevigne

Friday, September 24, 2010

September 24th, 1780

At home in l'Hotel de Sully again, after a long week at the Chateau of Franconville-aux-bois in Saint Martin du Tertre with F-. I was most apprehensive about seeing him again, but upon my arrival he greeted me in the hall with arms outstretched. Clasping me close he whispered "We two will remember him together."

Needless to mention, the wedding is still to go forward, and I have requested an audience with the King to inform him of my decision and to see that my claim to the Duchy du Bouillon is honored, as well as perhaps the reacquisition of that land in Limousin which I took so much trouble over last year. Maman writes nearly every day to advise me on wedding preparations, and I am sure that she will undertake to come to Paris herself soon. I have delayed in making any invitation to that effect.

Thierry is at present away on business in Lyon, but expects to return tonight. If it is not too late I hope that he will come visit here. I long to see him, and to talk with him about all that has happened. I hold my first Lever tomorrow since returning, and expect to see many old acquaintances. I have not ordered new clothes this time, so I hope that I shall not be out of fashion on the first day.

Olympe, Comtesse

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Poll- I Digress

Okay, I know this is a primarily eighteenth-century blog, but I have a real dilemma and I need your help. My fiance and I are having a Casablanca (like the movie)-themed wedding next July and today we went to look at what we thought was one vintage Rolls Royce. It turns out there are 3, count them, 3 options! Which one do we choose?

The 1936 silver Rolls Royce is stylish and has so many amazing features, like signals that pop out of the side of the vehicle to indicate turns, plus it has all those big windows so we can see everyone and they can see us! The downside? There's no air conditioning and as I said, the wedding is in July.
As Casablanca is set in 1942 this 1953 Rolls Royce is the closest thing to the right era. The only trouble is that our wedding colors are ivory, black, and sky blue and I'm afraid that the blue will really clash with that red. This car does have AC.
Last, but not least, the 1962 "Grey Ghost" Rolls Royce. The streamlined physique of this car is very 1960s, but its sleek steel blue paint would go well with the wedding, and it has the AC. Small windows on this one too.

No matter which car we go with the driver will come attired in a vintage chauffer's tux complete with hat, and they roll out the red carpet, literally. Which would you choose?

Friday, September 17, 2010

And I Quote...Alexandre Dumas, pere

"Oh! the good times when we were so unhappy. (Oh le bon temps ou etions si malheureux!)"
- Alexandre Dumas, pere

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Truth vs, Fiction

Olympe is headed back to Paris again, bringing our story more or less full circle from a year ago, but since that time there have been new characters, some whom have fallen out of sight at present and some of whom have died; but how much of this is fiction and how much of it is real?

In 1780 Louis XVI really did declare an end to torture as a means of extracting information from suspects. That year he would also order wounded enemies to be treated with the same care as his own subjects, free serfs from being tied to the land and unable to leave without the will of their lords, and took an interest in the cleanliness of the prisons in his kingdom.

What about Olympe's invitation to the Chateau Saint-Martin-du-Tertre? It's also known as the Chateau de Franconville, and is a real place. The last of the Marquis' to inhabit it and hold the title of Franconville was, however, not Olympe's friend F-, but Adelaide Genevieve Felicite O, who being a woman could not pass the title on after her death 1824. She did, however have a son named Louis Leon Felicite Brancas (whose first wife died at the guillotine in 1794), and if we stretch the truth a little that son born in 1733 had a son named Louis in 1759 who (had he actually lived past infancy) could conceivably have been the F- of our story.

Lastly, that oboe concerto by Handel? Maybe it was this one composed in 1740, making it forty years out of date at the time of Thierry's supper party; but then that is the point.

Friday, September 3, 2010

September 2, 1780


After a miserable few weeks I am bound for Paris again soon. The court is at Versailles and the King has proclaimed an end to torture, which is a kindess to the enemy that they little deserve. Still, if a man is tortured I suppose he may confess to anything, be it true or no.

My reply to F- was met with an invitation to his Chateau in Saint-Martin-du-Tertre to further discuss our intended marriage. Being so near to Paris I will stop at l'Hotel de Sully, unpack some things, and travel on to Franconville-aux-Bois the next day. It being Saturday now we depart Monday early and hope to arrive Tuesday if the roads are good; but it looks as if it will rain today and so I expect we will arrive Wednesday instead.

A letter from Thierry tells me that he has heard of R's death, and he mourns with F- and I, and wonders what change this may bring to our plans. He cautions me not to act in haste. He also says that he recently held a small supper party at which he hired musicians to play an oboe concerto by Handel. This was met by less enthusiasm than he had expected, which I suspect is because it is an old work and people are more fond of being entertained by new music. He also writes that the "sound of an oboe is like unto a duck that has been taught to sing", which I doubt is meant as a compliment to the instrument. It did come as a surprise to hear of him entertaining in this manner, as it is something he could ill have afforded at this time a year past.

Reinette begs my attention, perhaps she and I will take a turn in the gardens before the rain begins and enjoy once more the peace of Saint Saturnin before the frenzy of Paris.

-Olympe, Comtesse