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Marie Louise’s Wedding Dress

On 2 April 1810, Marie Louise Of Austria walked down the aisle at the “Salon Carré” turned chapel, in the Palais De Tuileries, to marry Napoleon, the man she had been thaught to hate since she was little. To add to her uneasiness, she wore a dress entirely chosen and made for her in France

Life In The Temple Prison

The Temple had been, as its name imported, the fortress and palace of the Knights Templars, and, having been erected by them in the palmy days of their wealth and magnificence, contained spacious apartments, and extensive gardens protected from intrusion by a lofty wall, which surrounded the whole. It was not, unfit for, nor unaccustomed

Purkoy, Anne Boleyn’s Beloved Dog

Anne Boleyn loved dogs. She doted on Purkoy, the little lapdog given her by Sir Francis Bryan, who had received it from Honour, Lady Lisle. When he brought him to court, the Queen fell in love with him straight away. In a letter to Lady Lisle, Sir Francis explains: “…it may please your Lordship to

Book Reviews: Stalin & Our Mad Brother Villon

Hello everyone, today I have two book reviews for you. Enjoy! Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator by Oleg V. KhlevniukCan a biography of Stalin, one of the cruellest dictators the world has ever known, be both concise and exhaustive? I didn’t think so, but Klevniuk proved me wrong. In 408 pages (not that many

A Trifling Gift Scarce Worth Being Mentioned

One of the perks of being a queen is receiving lots of presents. In June 1842, Queen Victoria received quite a few from the Imam of Muscat, as the Earl of Aberdeen reveals in this short letter to Her Majesty: Foreign Office, 28th June 1842 Lord Aberdeen, with his humble duty, begs to enclose for

Rose Bertin, Minister Of Fashion

Chanel. Dior. Givenchy. Gaultier. Today French fashion designers are renowned and loved the world over. But the first to be celebrated, and to bring haute couture to the forefront of popular culture was a poor but ambitious young woman, Rose Bertin. Born on 2 July 1747 at Abbeville, Picardy, Rose moved to Paris to try