France

Jeanne Bonnet: Cross-dressing Frog Catcher

The same year French socialite Juliette Récamier died was the same year that Jeanne Bonnet was born in Paris. At the time Bonnet’s father belonged to a French theatrical troupe. The troupe decided around 1852 to relocate to San Francisco, and Bonnet’s father decided to move with the troupe and took his family with him…

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Ann Bingham: Eighteenth-Century American Socialite

Ann Bingham was born Ann Willing in Philadelphia on 1 August 1764. She was acclaimed for her stunning good looks and regularly touted as one of the most gorgeous women in America just like Juliette Récamier was touted as the most beautiful woman in France. Of Ann it was stated:

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Princesse de Lamballe Portraits: Her Life in Pictures

Princesse de Lamballe portraits portray the life of the woman originally born as Maria Teresa Louisa of Savoy. She became the Princesse de Lamballe when she married Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, Prince de Lamballe. He was the son and heir of Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duke de Penthièvre, who was one of the richest…

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Queen Victoria’s Bal Costumé of 1845

Queen Victoria’s bal costumé of 1845 was an event where participants appeared in costume ranging from a ten-year period between 1740 and 1750. It was the second in a series of three bal costumés held by the Queen, with each of them highlighting a different style of costume. The first bal costumé on 12 May…

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Elizabeth Blackwell: First U.S. Female Doctor

Elizabeth Blackwell was born in 1821, the same year that Napoleon Bonaparte died. Her birth happened on 3 February in Bristol, England, to Samuel Blackwell, a sugar refiner, and his wife Hannah Lane. Elizabeth had two older sisters and would eventually have six younger siblings. Unfortunately, the family fell upon hard times after a fire…

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Stories About the French Revolution by Those Who Lived It

Stories about the French Revolution frequently begin with the fall of the Bastille because it was a pivotal moment that happened on 14 July 1789 when revolutionaries stormed the prison that had once been a fortress. For many of them, the Bastille was a symbol of Louis XVI’s tyranny and monarchical despotism and therefore important…

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What Marie Antoinette Wore in the Eighteenth Century

In the eighteenth century everyone talked about what Marie Antoinette wore and she came to be perceived by the French public as a trendsetter in fashion. However, because France began to face economic woes, Frenchmen began to think of her as frivolous and immoral and they ultimately came to despise her labeling her “Madame Deficit,”…

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Twelve Popular History Posts for 2019

The year 2019 was a great year. My book, shown on the right, was published on Madame Tussaud through Pen and Sword. I also had some posts that were extremely popular with readers. Here are twelve of them from 2019 in case you missed them:

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Banyans: Garments that 18th Century Gentlemen Loved

Banyans were garments that became popular with gentlemen in the 18th century. They were oriental in style being influenced by Persian and Asian clothing and called morning gowns, robe de chambres, wrappers, or nightgowns. However, “by the year 1730 certainly, and possibly earlier, these Indian gowns had become known generally by the name banyan, banjan,…

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Point Breeze Estate or Joseph Bonaparte’s Park

Joseph Bonaparte, older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, ending up owning the Point Breeze estate, or Bonaparte’s Park, in New Jersey after he took refuge in America in 1815. How it happened begins several years earlier when Joseph and Napoleon were looking at a map of the United States. At the time Napoleon was supposedly thinking…

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