1800s

The 19th Century French Hashish Club Called Club des Hashischins

The nineteenth century French Hashish Club called Club des Hashischins (also spelled Club des Hashishins or Club des Hachichins) was a club of hashish users dedicated to exploring drug-induced experiences, primarily with a resin that comes from the female cannabis plant called hashish (or nicknamed hash). The club was founded in about 1844 and included…

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The First Morphine Murderer Edme Castaing

The opiate and pain medication morphine began to be marketed to the public in 1817, and, four years later, in 1821, a young man by the name of Edme Samuel Castaing graduated from the School of Medicine in Paris as a physician. He had been an outstanding student during his school years and won many…

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Empress Éugenie’s Magical Ring

The wife of Napoleon III, Empress Éugenie, who was described as stunning in appearance, was noted to have many fine pieces of jewelry, but she was also reported to be extremely superstitious. For instance, one literary magazine noted that she possessed “unbound faith” in an amulet she wore and that she forced the Emperor to…

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Tuileries Garden Bird Charmers

Tuileries Garden bird charmers were street performers who appeared in the mid to late 1800s and enticed flocks of birds to come to them. Later, the bird charmers began appearing in other gardens or in public green spaces, such as the Champ de Mars. One of the earliest of the bird charmers at the Tuileries…

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Nine Firsts Accomplished in Nineteenth-Century France

The late 1700s was a turbulent time for France, and the 1800s appeared as if they would be no better partly because inflation hit France and many people lived in poverty. The 1800s was also the period when Napoleon Bonaparte was declared Emperor and crowned himself at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Power shifts was…

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Three Popular Palais-Royal Restaurants of the 1800s

Between 1770 and 1789 hundreds of restaurants opened in Paris, and, by 1825, it was claimed there were some nine hundred of them in the city. The word restaurant was for many years specific to Paris. However, by the late 1700s, the word had come to represent any eatery and could include an inn, cookshop,…

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Empress Josephine’s Last Days and Death

On 10 January 1810 the Emperor Napoleon divorced the Empress Josephine. He still loved her and she loved him, but France needed an heir. When he told her he wanted a divorce, her cries and shrieks reverberated throughout the palace before she collapsed onto the floor and was carried to her apartments. After the divorce…

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French Funeral Etiquette and Mourning in the Late 1800s

French funeral etiquette and mourning in the late 1800s involved numerous rules. For instance, the French operated under a law that a deceased person’s corpse could not be retained by the family for more than three days after death because ice was scarce. and the ice-box was unknown at the time. Thus, “three days [was]…

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