Antonia Fraser and Harold Pinter, Debbie Does Cakes, Lady Antonia Fraser and Marie Antoinette, Maria-Theresa Empress of Austria and The Holy Roman Empire, Marie Antoinette The Journey by Antonia Fraser, Marie-Therese wife of King Louis XIV, Order of the British Empire, Rust Burgenland Austria
Historians spoil a lot of great stories.
One of my promises to you, Dear Reader, when I began this blog was that I’d occasionally deal with life’s ‘quirky bits’.
Those who thought you knew history, hold on tight. This takes a mere jiffy.
Shock horror! Marie Antoinette did not utter the words “Let them eat cake”, when ‘them’ meant the peasants.
The historical writer, Dame Antonia Margaret Caroline Fraser, DBE, better known as Lady Antonia Fraser, wrote a fine biography of the Austrian-born Marie, whom I’ve always admired, if nil else but for purely genetic reasons.
Fortunately, Marie did not take her looks from her mother, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. You decide.
[Maria-Theresa, Empress of Austria and The Holy Roman Empire]
In any case, Lady Antonia writes that the ‘cake’ comment “… was said 100 years before her by Marie-Therese, the wife of Louis XIV” of France. ”It was a callous and ignorant statement and she [Marie Antoinette] was neither.”
[Antonia Fraser with her late husband, playwright Harold Pinter]
Truth be known, the attribution is doubly erroneous in English, because the word “cake” is a mistranslation.
In the original French, the alleged quote reads, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,” which means, literally, “Let them eat rich, expensive, funny-shaped, yellow, eggy buns.” (Per Lady Antonia’s words.)
From the very start, Maria Teresa of Spain, who upon her nuptials with the French King became best known as Marie-Thérèse was a ground-breaker.
So that I won’t lose you now, she lived from 10 September 1638 and died on 30 July 1683.
After the Royal Wedding, her new Royal Husband, King Louis, seemed quite like any normal, red-blooded chap who’s just been wed.
He was interested in establishing a certain ‘familiarity’ with his new bride.
His clever Mum knew her rascally boy all too well, however.
Indeed it was a mother-in-law who, for the first time in French royal history, arranged that the consummation of the marriage be in private, not in public, as had long-since been the custom.
Who knew most all the world’s brides owe more to the French than we ever thought?!
Before I stray too far into that line of country….
This mental confectionery of mine arose from some photos I ran across in the newspaper.
So, Dear Reader, what is it?
For those whose canine knowledge is up to par, yes, of course! A rather curiously saddened but still cute-faced Chihuahua.
Do you notice anything different about him?
You guessed it. Mexico’s best ambassador (is that ever another story entirely!) is in, fact, a San Francisco ‘native’, of sorts.
He – and all you see around him – is a cake!
So are all these wonders.
As a hat-tip to our son in Japan, something he will recognize, for sure, and likely lives on from what one hears: a steaming bowl of noodles, complete with chopsticks!
For the very special persons in your life who are about to witness a Blessed Event, tell me, who’s ever seen a stork with this much personality?
I’ve seen storks up close and personal atop huge rooftop nests in the Austrian town of Rust, in the Province of Burgenland, outside Vienna.
The Creator of these Super-Artistic cakes is “Debbie Does Cakes” in San Francisco. You will not be surprised that these are pretty pricey, but that’s for you to deal with.
She happily ships worldwide, so that’s a benefit. For a most special occasion, her genuine artistry and flair could be just the biscuit! or, sorry, cake.
“DBE” means “Dame Commander of the Order of The British Empire” bestowed as a gift of The Sovereign
“Marie Antoinette: The Journey” by Antonia Fraser is available in the UK here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Marie-Antoinette-Antonia-Fraser/dp/075381305X and in the USA here http://www.amazon.com/Marie-Antoinette-Journey-Antonia-Fraser/dp/0385489498
Disclaimer: I’ve never spoken to nor met Debbie, so there’s no kickback. I wonder if she makes mini-cupcakes that only cost as much as VW Passat and might send one my way….just kidding! Debbie Does Cakes website