7.7.09

Market Day at Petite Trianon.


The Queen Martyr is often viewed as being aloof and apart from her people of France, I suppose this is in some way an effort to demonize her and therefore justify the evil done to her. Elena-Marie once again gives us a better view of St. Marie-Antoinette...

Marie-Antoinette is frequently associated with shopping, but how did she shop? It is often forgotten that Versailles, being open to the public, was a place of commerce; vendors set up their stalls in the courtyards and galleries of the palace. As for the Queen, she would usually receive tradesmen in the morning while her hair was being dressed. However, she always sought ways to celebrate the life of the ordinary French people, particularly the peasants whose industry fed the nation. In September, 1777 Marie-Antoinette had a farmers' market in the park at Trianon to inaugurate the opening of her new gardens. The Queen wore peasant attire and served at an outdoor "tavern." Pierre de Nolhac describes the market thus:

A market-place was set up on the lawn...where the baker, the confectioner, and the purveyor of charcuterie(1) dispensed their wares...and even the cook's shop was busy in the open air. All these stalls were connected by a garland of roses....

There were shows of all sorts....Actors...gave several performances on an improvised stage....The avenues leading to Trianon were lined with the booths of Paris shopkeepers who had been engaged to come, their expenses being paid. (Pierre de Nolhac's Marie-Antoinette, 1905, pp.226-227)
more...

Even today I much prefer going to various specialty food stores or an open air market to shop. It is an adventure. This time of year, in this area farmers are beginning to sell the fruit of their labour, cantaloupes, squash, grapes, zucchini. We can find sausages in the fall and winter, and hams from Smithfield. It's better than Walmart any day...

Once again thanks to Elena-Marie.

Jhesu+Marie,
Brantigny

(1)A delicatessen specializing in sausages, ham, pâtés, and other cooked or processed meats.

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