France

The First Fete de la Federation of 14 July 1790

The first Fete de la Federation was established with a proclamation issued on 11 July 1790 by the Marquis de la Fayette. He was the military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War and was a key figure in the French Revolution and later the July Revolution of 1830. The celebration was intended to…

Read More

Gigot or Leg of Mutton Sleeves of the 1800s

Gigot or leg of mutton sleeves were first seen in the sixteenth century. They became fashionable again in the late 1820s and early 1830s (approximately 1824 to 1836) and then once again in the 1890s. Gigot is French for an animal’s leg, particularly a sheep or a lamb, and as that was what the sleeve…

Read More

French Royal Hunt of 1773 or the “Incident of Achères”

The French royal hunt of 1773, also sometimes referred to as the “Incident of Achères.” was only one of many hunts enjoyed by the royal court. King Louis XV loved hunting, as did his grandson, Louis-Auguste. the dauphin and future Louis XVI. In fact, the dauphin loved hunting so much “in preparation for his hunts…

Read More

Charles Julius Guiteau’s Plan to Assassinate President James Garfield

Charles Julius Guiteau’s plan to assassinate President James Garfield happened on 2 July 1881 as the President was walking through the Sixth Street Station of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad in Washington D.C. The assassin, Guiteau, who was an American writer and lawyer, falsely believed he had played a major role in Garfield’s election victory…

Read More

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte: Wife of Jerome Bonaparte

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was an American socialite who married Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte’s youngest brother, on 24 December 1803. Elizabeth, who was often referred to as Betsy, was the daughter of Dorcas Spear and William Patterson, who had been born in Ireland in 1752 and who had immigrated from Donegal to North America before the…

Read More

Thomas Jefferson’s Love Affair with Maria Cosway

Thomas Jefferson’s love affair with the Italian-English Maria Cosway began after Jefferson’s wife, Martha Wayles Skelton, died. He had married the widowed Martha in 1772 and they had several children, but weakened by childbirth, she died several months after the birth of her last child in 1782. Of the six children the couple had only…

Read More

James Austen: Jane Austen’s Brother

James Austen was the oldest child of George Austen and Cassandra Leigh. George was the rector of the Anglican parishes at Steventon and nearby Deane, and it was while George and Cassandra were living at Deane that she gave birth to James on 13 February 1765. A few weeks later, on 17 March, James was…

Read More

Dr. Edmond Pommerais Murderer of the 1800s

Dr. Edmond Pommerais was a spendthrift and gambler who was not above doing whatever it took to become rich. His story begins with his efforts to become a wealthy doctor of homeopathy. When that failed, he decided it would be easier to obtain a rich wife and attempted to do so through several matrimonial agency…

Read More

Jean-Victor Moreau and His Exile in America

Jean-Victor Moreau was exiled to America after Napoleon Bonaparte banished him to the United States. Moreau, who was a friend to Madame Récamier and Madame de Staël, had served as a general under Napoleon and had helped him gain power. However, Moreau’s alleged involvement in a plot against Napoleon (the “Pichegru Conspiracy” or “Cadoudal Affair”)…

Read More

The Spa Town of Aix-les-Bains in the 1700s and 1800s

The spa town of Aix-les-Bains is situated about ten miles from Chambery, about three quarters of a mile from the lake of Bourget, and between two spectacular mountains: Revard and the Mont du Chat. Even though the medicinal waters became popular in Roman times, beginning in the 17th century people became more fully aware of…

Read More