Napoleonic Pleasures : 96
Bon appetit! / Directory / 1st EmpireKids’ Corner: "soup, glorious soup!"
During the First Empire, roughly four in of five French people lived in villages or small towns. Many worked as farm labourers, craftsmen, merchants or doctors. Some were rich, and lived comfortably, whilst some were forced to live “hand-to-mouth” because their fields were too small to produce enough food to sustain them and their families. For […]
Bon appetit! / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireApple fritters
The cultivation of apple trees in the gardens and orchards of the Second Empire was extremely common, due in no small part to the high demand for eating apples and cider-making fruit. Table apples were principally sourced from market gardeners based on the town outskirts, whilst cider apple production was one of the Normandy region's most […]
Napoleonic literature / Directory / 1st EmpireMémorial de Sir Hudson Lowe, relatif à la captivité de Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène, Paris, Léo Dureuil, 1830
Mémorial de Sir Hudson Lowe, relatif à la captivité de Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène, Paris, Léo Dureuil, 1830 Despite the title, (literally Memoirs of Sir Hudson Lowe regarding the captivity of Napoleon on St Helena), these memoirs are actually a fabrication put together by two Parisian hacks named Léon-Jérôme Vidal (1797-1873) and Alphonse Signol (18??-1830). Their […]
Napoleonic literature / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireLe voyage de Monsieur Perrichon, by Eugène Labiche
Le voyage de Monsieur Perrichon, a comedy in four parts, by Eugène Labiche On 10 September, 1860, the premiere of Eugène Labiche's Le Voyage de Monsieur Perrichon, a comedy in four acts, was held at the Théâtre du Gymnase in Paris. The play, considered by many to be representative of the bourgeoisie during the Second […]
Bon appetit! / Directory / 1st EmpireMushroom purée
Good and bad mushrooms. Poisoning cases due to the consumption of toadstools and other toxic mushrooms were unfortunately frequent in occurrence. A list of “good mushrooms” included the button mushroom (agaricus bisporus), the ‘common’ mushroom (agaricus campestris, or field mushrooms), Caesar’s Mushroom (amanita caesarea), St George’s mushroom (Calocybe gambosa), the chanterelle mushroom, porcini and morels. […]
Fashion / Directory / 1st EmpireCeremonial dress and train belonging to the wife of Maréchal Davout
Ceremonial dress and train belonging to the wife of Maréchal Davout When present during ceremonies or receptions being held at the Palais des Tuileries, women of the imperial court were obliged to wear “well-adorned” dresses, with a low neckline and high waist over a long, figure-hugging skirt, which would be richly embroidered with gold and […]
Fashion / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireThe Empress of the French, In her Bridal Costume.
The Empress of the French, In her Bridal Costume The invention and proliferation of the sewing machine is a milestone in the history of textiles and dress. The pace of industrial change during the nineteenth century was such that from its date of conception in 1846 it took only twenty years for machine stitched garments […]
Bon appetit! / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireThe solilème or "Sally Lunn"
The bizarrely named solilème is a slightly salted cake that has an interesting history. Originally from the French region of Alsace, the name probably came from the French words “soleil” et “lune”, a term that was already used to describe a similar roundish cake-like bread. During the 17th century, the recipe arrived in Britain and […]
Fashion / Directory / 1st EmpireMarie-Louise’s wedding outfit (2 April, 1810)
On 2 April, 1810, the famous “second” marriage between Napoleon I and Marie-Louise of Austria took place. The grand ceremony took place in the “Salon Carré”, in the Palais des Tuileries, which had been transformed into a chapel especially for the occasion by the architect Fontaine. For the ceremony, the future Empress was dressed in […]
Fashion / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireThe return of the stiff corset
The return of the stiff corset The stiff corset, with its low neck to better display the individual's natural “charms”, was very popular during the Ancien Régime and into the Consulate, but was abandoned come the First Empire, during which a lighter, more comfortable model, known as the “corset à la Ninon” (1810), was preferred. The […]