Tag Archives: marie antoinette

“Let them eat cake”

I thought it was best to put this rant in one convenient place to be linked in the future. You’re welcome!

Marie Antoinette was many things and not always blameless, but she never said, “Let them eat cake” (“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”). I can. not. abide when people say that she did.

The saying originated (in print) with Jean Jacques Rousseau in Les Confessions [handy Google books link to the page here] as something once said by a “great Princess.” Some think he was quoting Marie Thérèse (queen to Louis XIV), but my gut tells me that that’s as much a myth as attributing it to Marie Antoinette.

Marie Antoinette and her dresses and pearls were not to blame for France’s ills – you can thank decades of nonstop war waged by Louises XIV and XV for that – but Antoinette was a woman and a foreigner, hated by the French, and all that made her an easy target.


18th Century, and the robots are already here, seigneur…

Here is a video of a small robot given to Marie Antoinette.

It’s about an exhibition at the Château de Versailles, but the video itself takes place at my absolute favorite museum in the entire world, the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. À ne pas manquer!!!

(Here is a link to an English description of the exhibit at Versailles, which, of course, ends next weekend. Oh, for a spare thousand dollars to drop on a plane ticket for this. I suppose I will have to content myself with having finally gotten to see Thomas Jefferson’s total MacGyver setup at Monticello this past winter.)