Tis the Giveaway Season | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Tis the Giveaway Season

December 20, 2010

Tis the Giveaway Season

The end of the year has snuck up on me so quickly I was hardly prepared for all the engagements and invitations, planning, gift buying, organizing, wrapping etc....  baking! oh my.  I am sure many of you are just as busy or last minute as me perhaps?

In honor of the season and new year I am happy to present the end of season giveaway!  It has been a really wonderful year here, lots of good gossip, art, fashion and scandals to talk about and I have particularly enjoyed getting to hear from so many readers! It is so great to read through the comments and emails and I hope to hear from more of you and more often!

There are 4 prizes to win in this giveaway:

Two lucky readers will receive a fotofolio mini-note book featuring  La Grande Odalisque by Jean-August-Dominique Ingres.  The notebook has an elastic closure, and is very handy for travel- from the Louvre.

One reader will receive a lovely mini Marie Antoinette inspired keepsake box, in the shape of a book, with a green tea vegetable based barre de savon! There is even a little cameo on the inside lid! (by Punch Studio)

And the final 'grand' prize will go to one reader: a copy of the Juicy Couture edition of Clue! Perfect for hosting parties with tea, finger sandwiches and scandal! 
When Heather first showed me this edition I nearly fell off my chair! Complete with a fun description:
Discover the secrets behind the Crimes of Couture. The favorite Clue® game gets a very Juicy makeover.

-Custom game board's floor plan depicts Juicy locales such as The Shoe Salon, a Candy Room, and a Design Studio.For ages 9+.
-Six movers.
-Nine silvertone Couture pieces.
-Six personality cards.
-Deck of rumor cards.
-Deck of intrigue cards.
-Custom score pad.
-Scandal envelope.
-Two dice.

How to Enter:
To enter simply leave a comment on this post with your favorite bit of 18th century gossip: a story about something or someone or fun fact, it can be something you have learned here or elsewhere, anything at all relating to the 18th century!

You may enter the giveaway through midnight, Sunday 26 December winners will be posted Monday 27 December.
Good luck and Happy holidays!

~~~~Thank you for entering!~~~~
 ~~~~The giveaway is closed.~~~~
~~~~Winners will be posted Monday Dec. 27, check back!~~~~


  1. Favorite piece of gossip? Just what Marie Antoinette and Axel de Fersen's relationship really was!

    Thanks for such a great blog!

  2. My favourite piece of gossip is only my favourite because it was proven -wrong-!

    The rumours of Her Majesty Marie-Antoinette being "frigid" (unable to bear children) is my favourite piece.

    Surprise, rumour-mongers! She had four beautiful children: Marie-Therese, Louis-Joseph, Louis-Charles, and Sophie-Helene!

  3. That the Tears proceeding from my most sorrowful Soul may soften your Heart, and encline you to consider my dismal State …

    Written to the Governor of the Carolinas by Stede Bonnet, pirate, prior to his hanging on 12/10/1718.

    That's a sad piece of gossip from this side of the pond.

  4. Well, I once read here about Louis strong appetite and tendency to eat spicy food to increase his sexual desire, and since, when my boyfriend is eating to much I tell him to stop with french accent

  5. Oooh! I think the greatest scandal of all would be losing that amazing game of Juicy Clue to somebody else! I have never seen it and I ADORE it!
    No, but really, I love all of the catty scandal between the family and Marie Antoinette. All of the gossip and the sisters attitude towards her, scandalous!
    ~Paris Atelier~

  6. The relationship between Marie Antoinette and Axel de Fersen. Was it love?

  7. *I* think the greatest scandal was how the Royal Family was treated during the revolution...the idea! ;-)

    Not the biggest fan of Juicy Couture, but a huge fan of Clue, and oh my, I covet that one!!

  8. Well, my juice piece of gossip was not mentioned here (though it would make a great blog!), but in "Queen of Fashion" by Caroline Webber ... Marie Antoinette was an excellent equestrienne, had her own stable full of Suffolk hunters, and regularly hunted where women were not allowed to (wild boar, for instance!).

    Also, she eventually began riding astride instead of aside, routinely wearing outfits of such militaryesque grandeur, Napoleon would have been jealous!

    All done with her impeccable taste of style.

  9. Love your blog! Please enter me in this giveaway. My favorite piece of gossip is that Luis Charles survived and no one ever knew who he was.

  10. I love that milady needed to "air out" her nether regions, which resulted in such wild under garments. It was elegant and randy at the same time. One of my favorite posts.

  11. ah.. I love that Clue set! One of my favorit pieces of gossip, though sad is that on the day of her execution, Her Majesty Marie-Antoinette wore purple shoes!

  12. I have never seen that version of Clue but now I neeeed it!

    Unfortunately, the bit of gossip I remember best is the tragic demise of the Princess de Lamballe. Though I've loved reading about her friendship with Marie Antoinette!

  13. I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Lady Holland's (then Webster) scandalous travels with Henry Fox, whose baby she had before divorcing her first husband...who challenged Fox to a duel, not for sleeping with his wife, but for having her portrait painted!

  14. What a great giveaway! I really enjoy your blog! I must say Maria Reynolds's blackmailing of Alexander Hamilton (posing as a woman abandoned by her husband to get his pity and money and then teaming up with her husband to siphon more money off of Hamilton) is particularly juicy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Reynolds

  15. I love your blog, and this giveaway is a great idea!

    My favorite piece of gossip is that Marie never said "Let them eat cake." Okay, it's not exactly gossip because we all know it, but it leads back to the idealization of the 18th century that I find so fascinating. We always view the past through these romantic, rose-colored glasses--and why not? I love the concept of taking something that already happened and molding the pure idea of it to fit your life in the present. Beautiful.

  16. My favorite thing was seeing that Marie Antoinette had pugs. I love pugs. Shelli
    mljcwsu at yahoo dot com

  17. I've decided that the Clue game is the greatest thing EVER. =D

    My favorite piece of gossip would be the Marie Antoinette/Axel Fersen legend, which isn't very original, but I think it's really interesting. After that, it'd probably be about Marie Antoinette's best friends, the Princess de Lamballe and Duchess de Polignac. The princess was such a dedicated friend! I always hear such different stories about the Duchess, so I really don't know what to think about her, and I just find that absolutely fascinating. =D

  18. That I was born in 1640, when in fact I was born in 1680! It is 1740 now! I mean come on, I don't really look that old do I?!

  19. I agree, my favorite gossip is the relationship between the Queen and Count Fersen. I would love to know the truth about it, wouldn't you? I've been in love with him myself since reading about his attempt to help the family escape, driving their carriage himself. Ah, heroes. . . Thank you for this exciting giveaway!

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. What a wonderful giveaway!

    I like hearing all the rumours about Marie Antoinette... about how she was "manly" because she liked to ride horses and wouldn't bear children right away... People think of her as extremely girly today!
    BTW, I love Rose Bertin... she was awesome. :-)

    coenobita54 [at] gmail [dot] com

  22. I heard that the rebellious Americans shot Loyalist Jane McCrea when she was going to see her fiance in the British camp and then blamed her Indian guides on the killing! They then used this propoganda to convert other Loyalists to their cause, saying that the British cannot protect their subjects against the savages or anyone else.

  23. I'd have to say it's the diamond necklace scandal -- the horrid attempt to frame Marie Antoinette by Madame de La Motte and the despicable Cardinal Rohan, fuelling rumours of the queen's greed and disdain for her people.

  24. That champagne glasses are the size of Marie's breasts. So perky, don't you agree?

  25. "I heard that the rebellious Americans shot Loyalist Jane McCrea "

    By jove, the cads!

  26. I still think its fun that Marie Antoinette never said "let them eat cake." Thanks for the giveaway!


  27. Not gossip but possibly of interest to you and your readers: I love the depiction of Lafayette in Elswyth Thane's Dawn's Early Light, the first of her Williamsburg novels, set in America just before the Revolutionary War. He is so appealing and charming! The book is one of my favorites, if you can find a copy.

  28. While we don't usually pay much attention to gossip from "the colonies" in this blog, I have always loved the story that the Father of Our Country had a life-long thing for his best friend's wife, Sally Fairfax, even pouring out his heart to her in a letter shortly before his marriage to Martha. It didn't stop Sally from moving to England with her husband -- an interesting bit of gossip in and of itself. He was trying to establish his claim to the family title of Lord Fairfax, a claim opposed by some relatives suspicious of his "West Indian" background.

  29. I love quite a bit about your blog but the art you find is well...delectable! Portraits of the bad girls of the 18th century. The beauty, the 'I don't give a da*&' expressions on their faces (smirks included), the lace! Le sigh.

  30. Lovely giveaway!

    I love any gossip involving Marie Antoinette and Count Fersen! ;)

  31. Partecipo volentieri a questo Giveaway... il gossip più gossip che ci sia?
    La storia d'amore tra Maria Antonietta ed il Conte!
    A presto


  32. I love the story that one of the lovely ladies, Mme. Fressage? (I think) had her hair come down while riding. She came up with a new up-do using her GARTER~~the first Scrunchie!!!

    That Clue game is TO DIE FOR!


  33. My favorite piece of gossip would be the use that Marie Antoinette gave to potatoes in her day

  34. One of my favorite 18th Century gossip bits is that Casanova had sexual encounters with men and an affair with his niece!


  35. My favorite is that Louis VI had to be told by his brother-in-law how to impregnate his wife after he and Marie Antoinette had already been married for years.

  36. I have been a follower of your blog for years now, I truly love that there is a blog out there dedicated to the 18th century. As an Art History student and a HUGE fan of Marie Antoinette, I would like to thank you for existing :)
    I think the most interesting piece of gossip I have heard recently, is the comparison between Marie Antoinette and Britney Spears. Both were forced into a lavish world before they even hit age 20, both were the focus of gossip around the world, unfortunately, Britney Spears only lost her hair, but Marie Antoinette lost her head. It shows the difference between our times! I think that is an interesting thing to think about, although I wouldnt personally compare the lovely Marie Antoinette to Britney Spears ;)

  37. oh my! i hve learned a lot about marie antoinette as well as other french mademoiselle just from reading this blog! i love to learn about the controversy ones such as princesse de lamballe, madame du barry, etc.. their stories are just so exciting!

  38. Not really a single thing.... But i have come to love the pictures posted with each blog post!

    I've only read a few posts, but regardless find them fun :3 (im sure I would have consumed them all if I wasnt working right now)

  39. My favourite piece of gossip? Hmm, begtter turn to the dear danes! I discovered the scandal of the affair between Dr. Struensee and Queen Caroline Mathilde of Denmark! Not only did they have an affair, they also took the power from the looney king Christian and ruled the country, together! Oh dear, i can just imagine the madame Tantes wrinkle their powdered noses in disgust! :D But oh, the poor Caroline who was robbed her poor children, and Struensee his head! It reminds me a little of Marie and Louis! Except Caroline did not loose her head(although most wanted her sent the same way as Struensee)!

  40. My favorite bit of gossip is the affair of Marie Antoinette and Axel Von Fersen. I love a good steamy love affair! :)
    I super hope to win that Clue game! My sister Would LOVE IT!!! Fingers are crossed!

  41. My favorite gossip is: The Diamond Necklace Affair. That Marie A., Cardinal Rohan, and the other seedy characters all were believed to have pulled this scheme off--tells one alot about the mistrust of MA & the royalty at that time. Can you imagine the gossip on the streets of Paris at that time?

  42. My favorite piece of gossip is a line that supposedly said by Fersen when asked if he was leaving marie antoinette. The duchess asked “Do you forsake your conquest?”
    and Fersen responded :
    “Had I made a conquest I should not forsake it. I go away free, and, unfortunately, without leaving any regret.”

    This quote has stuck in my mind since i have read it. To me it just feels like the way gentlemen were in that era. Though Fersen did come back to Antoinette eventually,and revered her all his life even after her death i love this quote!

  43. My favorite piece of gossip is that Rose Bertin once turned down advances from a Duke! Can't remember where I read that though...

  44. My favorite is how Marie Antoinette and her ladies would dress up as shepherdesses and milkmaids - that seems like such a fun diversion from the court.

  45. My favorite gossip was what Marie had to do in order to stop the cheating at the gambling tables: the ribbon trick ;)

    And also a courtier told me that a certain religious authority had a crush for lovely Antoinette...shhh don' tell

    I LOVE your BLOG
    God bless you !!

  46. This year I learned that 18th Century French people were not as keen on oral sex as once thought, although pornography of the time is rife with descriptions of pubic hair, something that has gone out of style in recent years. Thanks MA Gossip Blog! :)

  47. I can only imagine the gossip created from the relationship between Marie Antoinette and Georgianna, Duchess of Devonshire. Happily, Marie disliked Bess!

  48. Hmm how difficult to pick out a fav piece of gossip. For today I will say I love all the bad mouthing of Bess Foster said behind her back!

  49. "Let them eat cake!" By far the most epic quote and gossip scandal related to the queen.

    Hope I win--

  50. How about the endless stream of gossip and information that Mercy, the Austrian Ambassador, sent to Maria Theresa about (her daughter) Marie Antoinette. He paid spies at Court to help him gather it, and pretended to be MA's confidant, then passed on every tidbit to her mother. Everything from her spending, her activities with friends, the private conversations she'd had with Louis - nothing was sacred. Maria Theresa would respond by sending her daughter sometimes scathing, reproachful letters and poor MA couldn't figure out how her mother became so darn well-informed.