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Monthly Archives: July 2011

In honor of my summer on crutches – and my fractured ankle and torn foot – I thought today’s blog should be about . . .  SHOES!


“It’s not so much about the shoes, but the person wearing them.”                                                     Adriana Trigiani – Viola in Reel Life

 Queen Marie Antoinette owned over 500 pairs of shoes. Catalogued by color and style, they were custom made – expensive – and became a symbol of her extravagant lifestyle and cause for public loathing.

Madame Deficit, as she was nicknamed, wore shoes made for specifically for the right and left feet. Made of the finest colored cloths, silks and leather, they had high, curves heels and decorated with buckles, ribbons, and bows.

Manolo Blahnik recreated her shoes for the Sophia Coppola movie, “Marie-Antoinette”.  He described them as “a fantasy – a collection of candy-colored heels embellished with ribbon and buttons and beads.”  

When the royal family fled the sans-culottes marching on chateau of the Tuileries, Marie-Antoinette had a Cinderella moment, losing a satin slipper trimmed with ruched ribbon. Ironically, this event foreshadowed what was to come.

Walking to Mme. Guillotine and her imminent death, Marie-Antoinette famously stepped on the toes of her executioner with a high-heeled purple mule.

As the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Perhaps it best to reserve judgment for their shoes!

By the way, I’m attired in a fashionable, large, black, Velcro embellished snow-like boot. Hmm, I wonder what it says about me?


High prices, a crumbling economy and many displeased citizens – sound familiar?  The year I’m referring to in 1789. In celebration of the 14th of juillet, French Independence Day, I am writing about the French Revolution.

The French Revolution is a complicated time. A power struggle between numerous men accompanied by a desperate working classes trying to survive bread shortages and unfair taxation.

Officially, July 14th is France’s Independence Day in recognition of the storming of the Bastille and the the beginning of the revolt.

Here are a few of the main characters involved at one point in time during the revolution:

Jean-Paul Marat – newspaperman and doctor – responsible for calling for the deaths of thousands in his newspaper.  Executed by Guillotine




   George Danton – leader of the Girondin party – He may (or may not have) sympathized with the Royals.  Executed by Guillotine



Maximilien Robespierre – Radical leader of the Jacobin group  Seized power later in the Revolution.  Executed by Guillotine


King Louis XVI – Last King of France

Spent monies abroad, ill-advised by                                                          financiers

Executed by Guillotine


 Image of the masses who took arms against the King.

Followed the promptings of the men above, they turned on the noble classes and anyone/anything perceived as being from the noble classes.


Queen Marie Antoinette – an avid gambler and lover of fashion, chocolates, clothing, and parties, she lived in a world far removed from the struggles of the peasants.  She’s rumored to have worn purple mules to her execution.




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