1700s

Theatres of Paris from the Late 1700s to Early 1800s

Theatres of Paris from the late 1700s to early 1800s were extremely popular, always open, and constantly full of patrons. Supposedly, they were also considered the “idol of Parisians,” but at the time, there were not more than about twenty theatres that provided public recreation for the French masses. Parisian theatres were also known to…

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Three Paris Gardens in the late 1700 and early 1800s

Paris has always been a city of many types of public recreations. Among these recreational places were three Paris gardens in the late 1700 and early 1800s that were more popular than others. These gardens — Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries), the Garden of the Plants (Jardin des Plantes), and the Garden at the Palais-Royal…

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Tales of Charlotte Corday’s Head

After Charlotte Corday’s execution for assassinating Jacques-Jean Marat, her body and guillotined head were said to have been buried in Ditch No. 5 of the cemetery of the Madeleine on rue Anjou Saint-Honore in Paris. Ditch No. 4 held the body of Louis XVI, and Ditch No. 6 would be readied shortly for Marie Antoinette…

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Bastille Day or Fête de la Fédération in 1792

Bastille Day or Fête de la Fédération was first celebrated in 1790. It was a day set aside to commemorate the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille that occurred on 14 July 1789. That event ushered in the French Revolution and each year thereafter people celebrated their patriotism for their new republic with…

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Conjurors and Conjuring in the 1700s

Conjurors and conjuring existed long before the 1700s. In its simplest form, conjuring was a performance of tricks that appeared to be magical and usually involved some sort of sleight of hand. Well before conjurors and conjuring became popular in the 1700s, conjuring performances were given in antiquity and in the middle ages. However, there…

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Pierre-Paul Sirven, the Sirven Affair, and Voltaire

Protestants were unpopular in France. Because of their unpopularity, they were frequently persecuted by Catholics for their beliefs, and French authorities often ignored the basic principles of law to prosecute them unfairly. One case of a Protestant being persecuted and prosecuted unfairly involves a merchant named Jean Calas. He was tried for torturing and murdering…

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The Tricorne or “Cocked Hat”

The tricorne hat, which was initially called a “cocked hat,” became popular in the 1700s but was falling out of fashion by the 1800s and eventually evolved into the bicorne. The tricorne was actually an evolution of a broad-brim round hat worn by Spanish soldiers in Flanders in the 1600s. When its brim was pledged…

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An 18th Century Bullfight and a Woman of Arles, France

A gentleman by the name of Wilson Moore undertook a trip to Holland, France, and Italy in the late 1700s. During his trip he wrote letters, and, later, while at the table of Duke Humphrey, he decided to send “his work into the world,” by publishing a book that described his “rambles” and was based…

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Rosalie Duthé was the First Dumb Blonde

Despite Rosalie Duthé being considered the first dumb blonde, she attracted the attention of some of the most distinguished men in Europe and France, including monarchs and future monarchs. This attraction also resulted in her becoming one of the most celebrated courtesans of her time. A nineteenth century writer noted that Duthé’s fame “equalled the…

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