25.8.09

Two articles about the Royal Family of Louis XVI

First Elena-Maria Vidal wrote about Louis XVI and Tuberculosis...

Louis-Auguste, Duc de Berry, the future Louis XVI, was born on August 23, 1754. August 25, the feast of St. Louis of France, was his name-day, and kept with special festivity after he became king in 1774. The other day on Catherine Delors' blog many interesting points were brought up in the comment box about the childhood traumas of Louis-Auguste and how those later affected his reactions to the events of the Revolution. more...

And Catherine Delors tells us about who put the French in French Fries,

Emboldened, Parmentier proceeds to plant potatoes on a plot near the Invalides, but all he gains is the enmity of the landladies, the nuns of a nearby convent, and a dismissal from his position of Apothecary of the Invalides. He is not easily discouraged. He invites the best scientists of the time, such as Laurent Lavoisier and Benjamin Franklin, to dinners where guests are served potatoes. This is, after all, the Enlightenment, and no assumption goes unquestioned.

Official consecration comes at last. In 1785, four years before the Revolution, Louis XVI grants Parmentier two acres at the Sablons, then west of Paris, for him to grow potatoes for human consumption on a trial basis.

In a stroke of genius, Parmentier has the field heavily guarded by soldiers during daytime, and left unattended at night. Of course the neighbors soon surmise this is a particularly valuable crop, and steal plants under the cover of darkness. The following year, Parmentier heads for Versailles to present the King with a bouquet of potato flowers. Marie-Antoinette wears these simple and lovely blossoms on her hat and fine ladies follow suit. Parmentier's allotment at the Sablons is increased to 37 acres, and potatoes are now grown in the King's gardens. in a few years, thanks to Parmentier, the potato has gone from botanical pariah to the height of fashion.
more...

In her books Elena-Maria retells how the King introduced fried potatoes to his dinner table and Madame Royale loved them. All children do...

Thanks and a tip of the beret to both Catherine and Elena-Marie.

Dieu le Roy!
Brantingy

1 comment:

Catherine Delors said...

Many thanks for the link, Richard. And true about kids and French fries...