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05 October 2014


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Carrie Palmer

One of my favorite French revolution books is Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber. It has a fab chapter of one of Marie Antoinette's greatest fashion trends: the cockade, and how she invented revolutionary fashion.

PS Bourbon is not pronounced like the alcohol. It's pronounced Borbon.

Carrie Palmer

PS: Enter Madame Tussaud (aka Marie Grosholt).

Tirrell Cotton (Veshtanerada)

I'm currently reading Michelle Moran's "Madame Tussaud". It's a really interesting historical fiction of Marie Grisholtz's experiences during the French Revolution.


Great episode, but there is one thing I don't understand. If the royal family had pulled 20000 soldiers into Paris in anticipation of riots, why weren't those soldiers used against the rioters?

Surely it would have been possible to at least relieve the Bastille, even if they didn't have time to stop the first riots. Why didn't that happen?


Svante, you might want to check out an old map.
The soldiers weren't quite in Paris anymore... they had basically retreated from a bloody clash with civilians and mutinous soldiers to a military school just within the newest wall but in a very lightly built area on the opposite side of the city (and of the river) to the Bastille.
While the fortress wasn't in the city proper and wouldn't have been the worst location to deploy troops to, it would still have been a challenging operation since the Bastille was stuck between the city and Saint Antoine.
And there had been a great many folks (more than they were soldiers) in the streets preparing themselves for a confrontation with the troops days before the assault of the fortress. I really don't think the riot paradigm is useful in understanding what happened.

But I guess the bottom line is that most of the troops weren't thought to be very reliable. Or at least not reliable enough to operate against civilians and militia in an urban setting.
I assume opposing a march on Versailles would have been a much safer way to use those troops. They were fairly well positionned to do so.


Outis, thank you, it makes more sense now!


I just found out that this podcast exists and I'm so happy!!!!! I listened to The History of Rome a couple of times over the last year while I was expecting my first baby. Mike's voice got us through many sleepless nights!
Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for the podcasts, and that I'm looking forward to this new series. You are a great story teller, and a wonderful voice to listen to!

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