While hunting, Marie Antoinette took pains not to damage the harvest

October 17, 2011

Marie-Antoinette hunting Painting by Louis-Auguste Brun

One time, when Louis XVI was hunting in Compiègne, Marie Antoinette followed the beaters in a barouche. The buck fled straight to where the king and the hunt were waiting, racing straight through a wheat field. Marie Antoinette ordered her driver not to follow the pursued animal. She did not want to damage the harvest and knew that the indemnity normally paid out to farmers in such cases was insufficient.

Pierre de Nolhac, Marie-Antoinette Dauphine (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1898), p. 242. (Nobility.org translation.)


Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 118



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  • Frank61D

    Anyone interested in the quote "let them eat cake", long reputed to have been said by Marie Antoinette, might wish to visit The Phrase Finder web site at http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/let-them-eat-c… where that calumny is debunked.

  • This historically documented fact gives the lie to the "let them eat cake" slur attributed to Marie Antoinette. Such almost maternal concern for the farmers' harvests simply doesn't square with the selfish and removed caricature of Marie Antoinette that the Revolution has fed us. However, truth has a way of rising to the top always. If this does not always occur in our lifetime (and it didn't in Marie Antoinette's), at least it will on the Day of the Last Judgment.

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