Category: history

Marie Antoinette: Childhood

Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna was born in Vienna on 2 November 1755. She was the 15th child of Empress Maria-Theresa of Austria and her husband Emperor Francis Stephen. Soon after the birth, the baby was put into the care of a wet-nurse named Constance Weber, the wife of a magistrate. As she grew, she would

Edith Wharton

Edith Newbold Jones, the daughter of George Frederic Jones and Lucretia Rhinelander, was born on 24th January 1862. She had two brothers, Frederic and Henry Edward. The family was rich and when Edith was 4, travelled around Europe, visiting Italy, France, Spain and Germany. They returned to America six years later where the family spent

A Medieval Love Story: Abelard and Heloise

The love story of Abelard and Heloise is one of the most famous, romantic and tragic of all time and one that still moves us today. Abelard was a French philosopher and considered one of the greatest thinkers of his time. But because his teachings were controversial, he was accused of heresy. Heloise was the

Marie Antoinette: Queen

Louis XVI was crowned king on July 11, 1775 at Notre Dame de Reims. His wife, Marie Antoinette, was present but she wasn’t crowned with him because a double ceremony would have been too expensive considering the bad financial situation the country was in. The new king and queen were very popular at the beginning

Mark Twain visits Versailles

I have only recently finished reading The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. The book chronicles the journey the American writer undertook from the USA to Europe, the Middle East, the Holy Land and Egypt. This travel book is certainly different from the rest because Twain describes the places he sees in a witty and ironical,

Samuel Pepys on Midsummer Night’s Dream

I’m a huge fan of Shakespeare and have just finished reading for the second time A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Although not my favourite play of his, I still find it a very pleasant and enjoyable read and would love one day to have the chance to see it performed in a theatre. Someone who had

Marie Antoinette: Dauphine

It took several weeks to reach France, but on 7th May 1770, Marie Antoinette finally entered her new country. There was a ceremony to mark the occasion and afterwards, she met her French attendants. Marie Antoinette was now officially French. Seven days later she met the King Louis XV, who was charmed by this young

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (who would one day be known as Mark Twain), the sixth child of John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampton was born in Florida, Missouri, on 30 November 1835. In 1839, the family moved to their Hill Street Home (it is now a Mark Twain museum), in Hannibal, situated on the bank of