Bastille Day 2011

Today marks the anniversary of Bastille Day, just one event in 1789 that began the French Revolution. Revolutionaries attacked the Bastille, a prison that had become a hated symbol of the Bourbon monarchy. Tumultuous years followed before the entrenched privileged aristocracy, feudal system and clergy lost much of their power and lots of heads were chopped off along the way!

Louis XVI helped fund the American Revolution, but it didn’t help him at home with the French people. They didn't care for the higher taxes and food prices (remember "Let them eat cake?") that resulted, not to mention the extravagant lifestyle he and Marie Antoinette led.

Sitting in Versailles, Louis knew there was trouble, but was not keenly aware of the thousands rioting in Paris, witness his diary entry for that day: “July 14th; nothing.”

Marie, Louis and thousands of others were guillotined as nobility was eliminated and the Declaration of the Rights of Man became part of the French Constitution.

Here’s more about Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité and the French Revolution with this selection of history: Citizens : a Chronicle of the French Revolution, Voices of the French Revolution, Paris, The Secret History.

Here are some great films set in the period: The Affair of the Necklace, Marie Antoinette, Danton and The Lady and the Duke.

Lastly, here are a few novels: A Tale of Two Cities, Madame Tussaud : a Novel of the French Revolution, Annette Vallon : a Novel of the French Revolution and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Click on Vive la France! to find the name of this famous city and use it as a code for points in the AADL Summer Game 2011.



This a great post - my Grandmother always celebrates Bastille Day since she's such a Francophile. I found this list of great things to cook and eat for the holiday too!

I personally love the History Channel documentary on the French Revolution. Happy Bastille Day!

A nice reminder that we're not the only ones celebrating important moments in our national history this month. Happy Bastille Day!

Though revolution often has its place in the evolution of societies, rebelling against Bourbon just makes no sense at all.

Louis XVI sounds like a bummer. Who has absolutely nothing to say about their day? He could have at least said how fluffy his favorite wig was or how they ate a huge cake at dinner.

I wish I had a "like" button for the last two comments. Eli - any chance of getting that added? :-)

Bon mots!!


Go france!

that's really cool!

Very interesting!

Great blog. Especially loved all the links to movies. Thanks.


Love this.



Thank you for explaining this; I was wondering. Cool pic!

France is my favorite country. Sweden is playing France in soccer right now!


Always love to watch the Tour de France on Bastille Day - it's a huge day for a French rider to win, so always lots of good action.


it's cool

i found the code

If you ever want a game to play on Bastille Day, check out "Guillotine":

I love how you are hidiing things - it is like a treasure hunt :-)


I heard "Let them eat cake" for years as a child before I knew the relevance.

NIce colors!