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 Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution 
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Post Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution

I'm doing a coursework on Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution.
I've been looking for quotations/written evidence (in French) to quote into my essay but it's just so difficult!
I've mentioned about :
1) Famine
2) Economics/Taxation
3) Feudal System
4) Enlightenment Ideas and philosophers like Voltaire
5) Hatred towards the Monarchy
6) Inequality
7) The Queen

Personally, I think she's just a scapegoat for all that happened in that period. But I will have to justify my points and in doing so I will need these sources.
It can be from anywhere - if you've read a book and found some quotations relevant to the abovementioned points, that would be lovely.

I'd be most grateful if you could provide me with any quotations (in French).
Thank you again for your help!

Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:12 pm
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution
Hello and welcome!

For the first three questions you mentioned I recommend Albert Soboul's book, A short history of the french revolution. ... 613&sr=1-1

I read this book and as I remeber there are a good many infos on economical problems in the first half of this book. The writer heartily analyses the causes of the revolution from economic and financial point of view. You can also find informations on starvation in it. I would categorize here your 6. question as well.

I think you will have not problems with citations of Voltaire :D ... taire.html

and in French: ... ?citations

I think it is better if you read some of his works (and of the Encyclopedists as well). You can receive more infos hereby... I don't know how much information you need.

Finally, here, on Marie Antoinette Online you'll find a list of books on Marie Antoinette (and the revolution) in the "library" section. You can read our opinion about books on her and choose which you prefer the most!

"Ceux qui n'ont pas vécu avant 1789, ne connaissent pas la douceur de vivre" Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:49 pm
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution
I suggest that you try to acquire, if you read French well, Jean-Christian Petitfils' excellent biography of Louis XVI and which covers most of the topics you address, including the Queen of course.There are so many quotations in French, I wouldn't know where to start. If you like, ask a specific question, and I'll try and find the quote or source. And you can register on the French counterpart site "Le Boudoir de Marie Antoinette" where you will find heaps of information.

"Fidelité et constance, sans espoir de récompense."

Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:46 pm
Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution
Thank you so much!
But that's the problem. I only understand a little bit of French but this assignment, it requires the skills of a native speaker!
At the moment, I've addressed 3 points. What I now need is evidence to support each point. I'd be most grateful if you could please help me out with these evidences/quotations.
This is what I've done so far (I will need to translate these into French, that's why the quotations need to be in French):

First of all, famine had struck in the years leading up to the revolution causing inflation. The price of bread was a lot higher than one's ability to pay. City workers were angry because their wages were not enough to buy goods when prices were going up rapidly. This, along with high unemployment rate, caused great misery for the French people.

Secondly, the French society focused mainly upon the privileges of the few through the exploitation of the others. People were divided into three estates. The First (the clergy) and the Second Estates (the nobility) were the privileged classes. The Third Estate (the bourgeoisie and the tradesmen) resented the fact that these two estates were exempt from taxation. The bourgeoisie felt that because of their wealth they should be allowed to enter the ranks of the aristocracy. The tradesmen of the city were known as wage earners. These people resented the first and second estates for the unfair taxation system, wishing to take down the their power. The matter was made worse when the government, highly irresponsible and arbitrary, was forced to support the aristocrats through financial means. This put forth even higher taxes.

Thirdly, the triumph of the American Revolution showed that the Enlightenment Ideas were plausible. The Enlightenment Ideas were based upon reason and rational thought, and encouraged people to question the widely accepted views of their society. They criticised the undemocratic nature of the government, pushed for freedom of speech, and challenged the Catholic Church and the prerogatives of the nobles. In other words, the Enlightenment Ideas gave the revolutionaries their spirit, for now they had a goal, a belief system, a purpose.

Philosophers like Voltaire targeted corrupt officials and idle aristocrats. With his pen, he battled inequality, injustice, and superstition. He detested the slave trade and deplored religious prejudice. This movement, when coupled with the discontent mentioned previously, meant that people began to challenge the privileges of their society en masse.


Thank you once again!

Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:13 am
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution
I second the suggestion of Soboul's "A Short History of the French Revolution." If you look at the recent posts on the Women in the French Revolution thread just below, I posted a bibliography of books that talk about women's role in the French Revolution and most of them talk in part about popular hatred directed towards Marie Antoinette.

I'm afraid it's rather difficult if you're trying to find quotes in French, but don't have the level required to read a whole book in French. I have two suggestions for you.

- Twelve Who Ruled, by R.R. Palmer. I seem to recall that this book is in English (and very interesting and readable, for the matter), but he preserves all the quotations in French for some reason. However, this book is about the Committee of Public Safety and Year II, so not exactly what you're focusing on. He might include some quote here and there, though, that would be relevant.

- Voices of the French Revolution, by Peter Vansittart. In English, but a huge book of quotations of people during and commenting on the French Revolution. If you find a specific quote you like there, perhaps with the knowledge of where it came from and the general gist of it you could find it in French. (Perhaps google it to try to find out the complete French quote, then google book search it to find a book where it is cited?)

Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:12 am
Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution
Thanks for all the advice!

Now I have this quote in English but I can't find the French version of it.

“I was a queen, and you took away my crown, a wife, and you killed my huband, a mother, and you took my children away from me. All I have left is my blood. Take it. but do not make me suffer long.

Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:41 am
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:45 pm
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution
I heard about this quote (in English), but I'm not sure you'll ever find it in French. I tried to look after it, but there was no worthwhile result. If it exsisted, it may be in one of the books on the queen.

"Ceux qui n'ont pas vécu avant 1789, ne connaissent pas la douceur de vivre" Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:19 pm
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