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Paris is for me the ideal city for a stroll through History.
The Tuileries Garden, the Palais-Royal and the Elysee are monuments that have been the lone witnesses of History and which harbour many mysteries. The Tuileries once belonged to my maternal family.
It is in the Tuileries Garden that the first stories for my book « Promenade singulière à travers l’histoire [1]» came to me.

This month, I offer you the most beautiful stories that History with a capital “H” does not know, has forgotten or has thought preferable to never reveal.
I invite you for a stroll on the pathways of the unexplored.

 

[1] Peculiar Stroll Through History

Adventure

THE DIGESTIVE OF THE TIME OF THE WAR

My mother’s first cousin, the Duke of X, was as charming as he was jovial. During the Second World War, like so many Frenchmen, he and his whole family sought refuge in the family castle in the country. At that time, the question of where the ingredients and foods that appeared on the table came…

Mysteries

A Shadowy Affair ( final part)

I found the Marquis and the Marquise, cheerful and welcoming, in an 18th century living room on the ground floor in which were hung beautiful, family portraits. I hastened to accept the port and the cheese sticks that were offered me. It seemed, at least, that the ghost had not managed to leave his mark…

Mysteries

A Shadowy Affair (part 2)

I felt the cloud thicken. I felt that I had fallen victim to a disease – at the time there so many about which we knew nothing. So the conviction was born inside me that I was to die young. All this is an image, you understand, but I imagined finding myself in the middle…

Adventure

A GHOST STORY AS TOLD BY THE PRINCESS PALATINE

Elisabeth Charlotte of Bavaria, Princess Palatine and the second wife of Louis the 14th’s brother and the Duke of Orleans, or ‘Monsieur’ (the traditional title given to the eldest living brother of a French king), is one of my favourite ancestors. Larger-than-life; sincere; courageous; she would share her thoughts with everyone; she enjoyed cold cuts,…

Mysteries

“A Shadowy Affair” ( Part 1)

Castle Beaumont La Ronce “This is my best friend’s parents’ castle,” my lovely little niece, Adelaide, told me, “It is haunted by a great lady who was murdered over questions of money. Those who were arrested and executed for the crime were, however, innocent and the true assassins were allowed to escape for they had…

Royalty

Family portraits of France

Princess Mathilde Bonaparte She was first cousin to Napoleon III. A great lady under the Second Empire, she was even more so under the Third Republic. The whole wide world would visit her in her hotel on Rue Courcelles and in her Château de Saint Gratien, amongst whom many intellectuals and many artists. She was…

Adventure

Louis XVIII and Jena Bridge

Louis XVIII had a feel for France whatever regime it was ruled by. In the Paris occupied by the forces of the coalition, the place names, the avenues, and the bridges served as a constant reminder to the occupying forces of their defeats. L’Avenue d’Austerlitz, l’Avenue de Wagram, and above all the Jena Bridge, reminded…

Royalty

THE REGENT’S WEDDING

At the moment I am watching the television series “Versailles”, in which I find many of my ancestors portrayed in a rather unorthodox manner. There is however a story the scriptwriters have omitted. Louis XIV had many children from his mistress the marquise de Montespan, both boys and girls. He had showered them with donations,…

Mysteries

THE FALSE REMAINS OF LOUIS XVI

One of the mysteries I recently uncovered has to do with how the Revolution would dispose of its victims, all these princes and dukes, these women, these young people. Until now, I believed that they would be thrown into mass graves and that their bodies would be doused in quicklime to render them unrecognizable. Apparently…

Royalty

THE CROWN JEWELS OF FRANCE

Their story is interesting in that they do not exist. Certain ceremonial objects from the Coronations of the kings of France have survived: Charlemagne’s sword; Charles V’s Sceptre; the Main de Justice (hand of justice). All of these, kept at the Louvre, were used during the countless coronations of France’s kings, right up until the…

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