France

Fans Related to Napoleon

The popularity of fans coincided with Napoleon’s popularity of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. In fact, there were numerous fans related to Napoleon, and in France, “of the two hundred engravings deposited in the Biblothéque Nationale in … [1796] a hundred and fourteen were fan-designs mostly in praise of Napoleon.”[1] These fans also…

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France’s First Serial Killer Martin Dumollard

Frances’s first serial killer Martin Dumollard was discovered after he attempted to murder a young servant from Lyons named Marie Pichon. Although the murder happened in France, his story was particularly appealing to people in England and of the incident the Norfolk Chronicle reported:

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Eighteenth Century Fans

Archaeological ruins and ancient texts indicate that fans have long been popular and could be found in ancient cultures. However, once fans were introduced to Europe, they quickly became popular and it was also not long before France became the center for fan design and production. By the eighteenth century, fans in France had reached…

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The Unusual Occupation of the Leech Collectors or Leech Gatherers

One unusual and interesting occupation of in the 1700 and 1800s was performed by leech collectors or leech gatherers who obtained leeches for medicinal purposes. Leeches were used in bloodletting and were not particularly easy for physicians to obtain, which in part was why leech collectors gathered them. Moreover, both France and England imported millions…

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The French Executioner Charles-Henri Sanson

The French executioner Charles-Henri Sanson was born on 15 February 1739 and served as the royal execution during the reign of King Louis XVI and High Executioner during the First French Republic. He administered capital punishment in the city of Paris for over forty years and executed nearly 3,000 people, including King Louis XVI. He…

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The Kiss of the 1800s and Tales Associated with It

A kiss is the touching or pressing of one’s lips against another person and the romantic kiss of the 1800s was much like a romantic kiss of today, one that expresses sentiments of love, attraction, affection, romance, or passion. Author Kristoffer Nyrop in his 1901 book, The Kiss and Its History, had a lot to…

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The Importance of Bees to Napoleon Bonaparte

The importance of bees to Napoleon Bonaparte became obvious when he decided to adopt this ancient symbol older than the fleur-de-lys. Supposedly, when Napoleon thought about wearing the imperial purple, he decided to adopt the bee based on the following story:

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Glossary for Fans

Fans were popular throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and this glossary for fans provides definitions for styles, parts, techniques, and materials used in the creation of them during this period.

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Felix Nadar’s Giant Balloon or Le Géant

Felix Nadar’s giant balloon, or as it was christened, Le Géant, made its debut on Sunday 4 October 1863 in Paris in the Champ de Mars when it launched at 5pm. The promoter of this enormous balloon was Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, better known by the pseudonym Nadar. He had made history in 1853 when he took…

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