1800s

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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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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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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The Literary Madman Gérard de Nerval

The literary madman Gérard de Nerval was the nom-de-plume of the French writer, poet, essayist, and translator Gérard Labrunie. He was a major figure of French romanticism and is best known for his poems and novellas. He was interested in literature from a young age and at 16 wrote a poem about Napoleon’s defeat called…

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Mid-nineteenth Century Jardin des Plantes

The mid-nineteenth century Jardin des Plantes or the Jardin des Plantes de Paris was France’s main botanical garden. It was founded in 1626 and originally known as the Jardin du Roi. However, in 1635, Louis XIII’s physician, Guy de La Brosse, planted medicinal herbs in it, and it opened to the public in 1640.

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Marie Antoinette’s Breguet Pocket Watch No. 160

The story of Marie Antoinette’s Breguet pocket watch begins when Abraham-Louis Breguet, arrived from his native Switzerland in Paris. Breguet’s father had died and his mother remarried a watchmaker named Joseph Tattet. Tattet had a showroom in Paris and tried to get Breguet to take up watchmaking, but he resisted.

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