Image Source © Cathy Fitzgerald via etsy.
The Internet has made history ahistorical, a treasure box for post-Postmodern plunder. Globalization allows designers to create a crazy quilt of anachronistic, cross-cultural references. Even as traditions are upended, they gain new life. For example, the world has never been more republican, but royal families survive as minor celebrities. There is also a subculture devoted to some royals who have achieved historical dead movie star status.
Popular history of these dead stars survives in role-playing clubs and historical reenactment communities, fueled by the Internet. The craft merchant site Etsy gives a snapshot of the cult around Marie Antoinette.
Even in her lifetime, she fell prey to a modern pattern of celebrity. She entered the French court as a teen-aged magnet of attention, and set the highest standard of beauty among her contemporaries. After giving birth in front of an audience of hundreds of courtiers she complained:
"I put on my rouge and wash my hands in front of the whole world!"There are many cryptic and apocryphal quotations associated with her, including the falsely attributed, 'Let them eat cake,' to dismiss the starving people of Paris. This was actually a quote from Rousseau, published when Marie Antoinette was only nine years old and still living in Vienna.
Her mother, the great Austrian empress Maria Theresa, purportedly consulted a seer on whether her daughter would be happy in France; and the seer supposedly replied:
"There are crosses for all shoulders."Finally, one of the most famous quotations associated with the ill-fated French queen is:
"I have seen all, I have heard all, I have forgotten all."She still represents ornately-adorned beauty and lavish, glittering excess. She is also popular in Gothic circles as a morbid symbol of retribution for wastefulness and exploitation, a pale face of warning. This mixed message of wealth and justice, beauty and death rings true today, and so her popularity endures.
Addendum (23 October 2015): Tea at Trianon found an English transcript of Marie Antoinette's trial, here.
Ship Fascinator (Marie Antoinette, Rococo, Baroque, Headdress). Image Source: etsy.
Medium Size Galleon Ship Fascinator. Ship Hat. Ship Headpiece. Ship Hairpiece. Marie Antoinette. Rococopunk. Baroque.. Image Source: etsy.
Let Them Eat Cake: Marie Antoinette inspired Pink Rosette Mini Fake Cake with Faux Pearls Photo Prop, Centerpiece, Shabby Chic Pink Decor. Image Source: etsy.
Marie Antoinette 4 Slices Fake Cake Photo Props, Eat More Cake, Rosettes Frosting, Butterfly, Roses, Tea Party Decorations, Home Accents. Image Source: etsy.
Marie Antoinette, let them eat cake, tea party invitations, for shower tea, high tea, kitchen tea, French patisserie with cake and macarons. Image Source: etsy.
Cake Statement Necklace Marie Antoinette Pastel Pastry Dessert Birthday Kawaii Mini Food Jewelry. Image Source: etsy.
Marie Antoinette Inspired Cage Skirt. Image Source: etsy.
Marie Antoinette wedding lingerie latex skirt with spikes. Image Source: etsy.
Sea-Green Sparkle Fantasy Marie Antoinette Mermaid Gown Custom Size. Image Source: etsy.
Ultimate Fantasy Marie Antoinette Lace Back Sparkle Gown Custom. Image Source: etsy.
Baby Marie Antoinette Couture Dress Tiffany. Image Source: etsy.
18th century riding habit - navy blue velvet jacket, cream vest and hand dyed skirt. Ready to wear Marie Antoinette dress, rococo gown. Image Source: etsy.
Marie Antoinette Inspired Brides Maid Dress Ombre Flower Organza Pearl Dress with Blue Lace. Image Source: etsy.
Marie Antoinette classic victorian choker with pearl beads,bronze framed cameo lady. Image Source: etsy.
Painted stonen.51. Marie Antoinette, painting on stone. Beach pebbles art. Image source: etsy.
Paris Marie Antoinette throw pillow. Image Source: etsy.
Mobile phone case. Image Source: etsy.
Sew-on patch. Image Source: etsy.
Medieval Boho Victorian Bag Purse "Siubhan" Brocade Ruby Red Velvet Marie Antoinette Fairy Hippie Gothic Edwardian Roses Camee Vintage Goa. Image Source: etsy.