La Vrai Quiche Lorraine

From Louis la Vache, The Real Quiche Lorraine. Although Paris is the capital of the earth, I like to quiche from Lorraine the best.

La Vrai Quiche Lorraine par Boulanger Gérard Mulot
The Real Quiche Lorraine by Baker Gérard Mulot

Boulanger, pâtissier, chocolatier et traiteur, Gérard Mulot, owner of one of Louis la Vache's favorite boulangeries in Paris, in the shadows of l'église de Saint-Sulpice in le VI ème arrondissement, shares with us his recette pour la vrai Quiche Lorraine.

Monsieur Mulot points out that la vrai Quiche Lorraine is made with only a small amount of cheese, and that small amount is used for a gratiné effect. Quiche Lorraine made with a large amount of cheese in the filling is Quiche Lorraine Parisienne, and often has too much cheese - to the point of masking the other flavors.

The fromage used in this recette is Comté, which is easily found in France. Readers aux États-Unis may be able to find Gruyére. Gruyére, "Swiss" cheese or Jarlsberg are acceptable substitutes for Comté.

À table!

Quiche Lorraine

Oven 400º F/ 200º C


1 - tart shell de 24 cm diamètre et 4 cm de hautre (9" deep dish) , slightly baked,* made from pâte brisée (recette suivante)

100 grams de lardons fumés / 4 ounces chopped, smoked ham
6 - 8 tranches de bacon en chiffonade / 6 - 8 slices cooked bacon, chopped
2 cuillerées à soupe de Comté râpé / 2 generous tablespoons shredded Comté cheese
1 noix de beurre / 1 tablespoon butter
4 gros oeufs / 4 extra large eggs
15 cl de lait frais entier / 4 ounces + 2 tablespoons whole milk
20 cl de crème fraîche / 7 ounces crème fraîche
Noix muscade rapée / ground nutmeg
Poivre fraîchement moulu / freshly-ground black pepper
sel / salt


1. Préparez la pâte brisée / Prepare the pâte brisée
2. Préchauffez le four à 200º C / Preheat the oven to 400º F
3. Faites blanchir les lardons (quelques minutes à l'eau bouillante) afin d'éliminer l'excèdent de sel et de maitière grasse. / Boil the smoked ham for a few minutes to eliminate excess salt and fat.
4. Égouttez-Ies lardons et, sans le rincer, faites-les sauter à la poêle avec le noix du beurre / Drain the ham without rinsing and lightly sauté it in a frying pan with the butter.
5. Garnissez le fond de la quiche avec les lardons et le bacon en chiffonade, saupoudrez de Comté râpé. / Place the ham and bacon into the prepared shell, sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
6. Dans un bol, mélangez tous les ingrédients de l'appareil à quiche et assaisonnez (sel, poivre et noix de muscade). / In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and add the seasonings (salt, pepper and nutmeg).
7. Versez cette préparation dan le moule, en le remplissant jusqu'au bord. / Pour the remaining ingredients into the shell. Fill to just below the rim.
8. Faites cuire 40 minutes environ: la crème doit être prise et le dessus de la quiche doré. Bake for about 40 minutes until the quiche is set and the top golden brown.

Pour servir: Dégustez la quiche tiède, accompagnée d'une salade de mâche.
Serve the quiche warm accompanied with a salad of butter lettuce.

Pâte Brisée

Four préchauffé à 180º C / Oven preheated to 350º F


600 ml farine /2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 ml sel / 3/4 teaspoon salt
150 ml beurre froid, coupé / 5 oz. (10 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4" cubes
12 cl eau froid/ 1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cuillère de café jus de citron / 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


1. Préparez un moule de 24 cm diamètre et 4 cm de hauture légèrement graissé avec la matière grasse végétale / Prepare a 9" diameter deep-dish pan, lightly greased with vegetable shortening.*
2. Dans le bol d'un mélangeur électrique équipé de l'attachement de palette, mélangez la farine et le sel / In the bowl of an electric mixer** fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt.
3. Ajoutez le beurre froid et mélangez à vitesse réduite jusqu'à ce que le mélange ressemble à des miettes de pain, approximativement une minute / Add the cold butter and mix on low speed until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs, about 1 minute.
4. Ajoutez l'eau froide et de le jus de citron et continuez de mélanger juste jusqu'à ce que les grands morceaux forment / Add the cold water and lemon juice and continue mixing just until large lumps form.
5. Mettez la pâte sur la surface de travail saupoudré légèrement avec farine et, à l'aide de vos mains, recueillent le mélange ensemble / Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using your hands, gather the mixture together.
6. En utilisant le talon de votre main, malaxez la pâte doucement jusqu'à ce qu'elle lie, environ 30 secondes / Using the heel of your hand, knead the dough gently until it holds together, about 30 seconds.

7. Formez la pâte dans un disque, l'enveloppez dans l'enveloppe en plastique et frigorifiez au moins 1 heure ou durant la nuit. / Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
8. Après que la pâte soit complètement refroidi, tournez-le dehors sur une feuille de papier sulfurisé saupoudré légèrement avec farine placé sur une surface de travail. / After the pâte is thoroughly chilled, turn it out onto a sheet of lightly floured wax paper placed on a work surface.
9. Roulez la pâte dehors à une épaisseur de 32 cm / Roll the pâte out to a thickness of 1/8".
10. Placez le moule préparée à l'envers sur la pâte/ Place the prepared pan upside down on the rolled-out pâte.
11. Courez soigneusement vos mains sous le papier sulfurisé et renversez la pâte et le moule de sorte que le moule soit maintenant sur la surface de travail / Carefully run your hands under the wax paper and flip the dough and the pan so that the pan is now on the work surface.
12. Serrez la pâte dans le moule et équilibrez la pâte excessif Press the pâte into the pan and trim excess pâte by running your rolling pin over the diameter of the pan.
13. Avec une fourchette, piquez le fond/ Using a fork, lightly prick the bottom of the shell.
14. Couverture et froid pour 1 heure / Cover and chill for 1 hour.
15. Faites cuire au four à 180 degrés de juste jusqu'à ce que la pâte tourne le blanc / Bake slightly at 350º as per the footnote below*** before filling the shell.

* This assumes a Kitchen Aid mixer.
** ** It is best to use vegetable shortening to grease pans because it contains no moisture. This helps insure a clean release from the pan.
*** Bake the shell in a 350º oven just until the moisture is driven out, but before the shell browns. This will insure a crisp crust.
Et voila! Bon appétit!

Gèrard Mulot
76, rue de Seine
75006 Paris
Métro ligne 10 ou ligne 4, station: Odéon

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Louis la Vache.

Dieu Sauve le Roy.
de Brantigny

How la Reine-Martyre Marie-Antoinette was clothed

From Fordam University's History dept I have today a short selection of the Memoires of Madame Campan,(left),"Mémoires sur la vie privee de Marie Antoinette, suivis de souvenirs et anecdotes historiques sur les règnes de Louis XIV.-XV." (Paris, 1823); A great resource for those who want to take the time to read about what the Reine-Martyre and her family was really like and not what some factionary wishes you to beleive. Indeed many women not just Queens would wish to have such loyal friends as Marie-Antoinette, "Blessed is he that findeth a true friend, and that declareth justice to an ear that heareth." Sirach 25:12.

Madame Campan:
Memoirs of the Private Life of Marie Antoinette, 1818

In order to describe the queen's private service intelligibly, it must be recollected that service of every kind was honor, and had not any other denomination. To do the honors of the service, was to present the service to an officer of superior rank, who happened to arrive at the moment it was about to be performed: thus, supposing the queen asked for a glass of water, the servant of the chamber handed to the first woman a silver gilt waiter, upon which were placed a covered goblet and a small decanter; but should the lady of honor come in, the first woman was obliged to present the waiter to her, and if Madame or the Countess d'Artois came in at the moment, the waiter went again from the lady of honor into the hands of the princess, before it reached the queen.

It must be observed, however, that if a princess of the blood, instead of a princess of the family, entered, the service went directly from the first woman to the princess of the blood, the lady of honor being excused from transferring to any but princesses of the royal family. Nothing was presented directly to the queen; her hand kerchief or her gloves were placed upon a long salver of gold or silver gilt, which was placed as a piece of furniture of ceremony upon a side-table, and was called gantière. The first woman presented to her in this manner all that she asked for, unless the tire-woman, the lady of honor, or a princess, were present, and then the gradation, pointed out in the instance of the glass of water, was always observed.

WHEN a foreign princess was married to the heir presumptive, or a son of France, it was the etiquette to go and meet her with her wedding clothes; the young princess was undressed in the pavilion usually built upon the frontiers for the occasion, and every article of her apparel, without exception, was changed; notwithstanding which, the foreign courts furnished their princesses also with rich wedding clothes, which were considered the lawful perquisites of the lady of honor and the tire-woman. It is to be observed that emoluments and profits of all kinds generally belonged to the great offices. On the death of Maria Leczinska, the whole of her chamber furniture was given up to the Countess de Noailles, afterwards Maréchale de Mouchy, with the exception of two large rock crystal lusters, which Louis XV ordered should be preserved as appurtenances to the crown. The tire-woman was entrusted with the care of ordering materials, robes, and court dresses; and of checking and paying bills; all accounts were submitted to her, and were paid only on her signature and by her order, from shoes, up to Lyons embroidered dresses. I believe the fixed annual sum for this division of expenditure was one hundred thousand francs, but there might be additional sums when the funds appropriated to this purpose were insufficient. The tire-woman sold the castoff gowns and ornaments for her own benefit: the lace for head-dresses, ruffles, and gowns was provided by her, and kept distinct from those of which the lady of honor had the direction. There was a secretary of the wardrobe, to whom the care of keeping the books, accounts of payments, and correspondence relating to this department, was confided.

The tire-woman had, likewise, under her order a principal under-tire-woman, charged with the care and preservation of all the queen's dresses: two women to fold and press such articles as required it; two valets, and one porter of the wardrobe. The latter brought every morning into the queen's apartments, baskets covered with taffety, containing all that she was to wear during the day, and large cloths of green taffety covering the robes and the full dresses. The valet of the wardrobes on duty presented every morning a large book to the first femme de chambre, containing patterns of the gowns, full dresses, undresses, etc. Every pattern was marked to show to which sort it belonged. The first femme de chambre presented this book to the queen, on her awaking, with a pincushion; Her Majesty stuck pins in those articles which she chose for the day: one for the dress, one for the afternoon undress, and one for the full evening dress for card or supper parties, in the private apartments. The book was then taken back to the wardrobe, and all that was wanted for the day was soon after brought in, in large taffety wrappers. The wardrobe-woman who had care of the linen, in her turn, brought in a covered basket containing two or three chemises, handkerchiefs, and napkins; the morning basket was called prêt du jour: in the evening she brought in one containing the nightgown and nightcap, and the stockings for the next morning; this basket was called prêt de la nuit: they were in the department of the lady of honor, the tire-woman having nothing to do with the linen.

Nothing was put in order or taken care of by the queen's women. As soon as the toilet was over, the valets and porters belonging to the wardrobe were called in, and they carried all away in a heap, in the taffety wrappers, to the tire-woman's wardrobe, where all were folded up again, hung up, examined, and cleaned with so much regularity and care that even the cast-off clothes scarcely looked as if they had been worn. The tire-woman's wardrobe consisted of three large rooms surrounded with closets, some furnished with drawers, and others with shelves; there were also large tables in each of these rooms, on which the gowns and dresses were spread out and folded up.

For the winter, the queen had generally twelve full dresses, twelve undresses, called fancy dresses, and twelve rich hoop petticoats for the card and supper parties in the smaller apartments. She had as many for the summer. Those for the spring served likewise for the autumn. All these dresses were discarded at the end of each season, unless indeed she retained some that she particularly liked. I am not speaking of muslin or cambric gowns, or others of the same kind; they were lately introduced; but such as these were not renewed at each returning season, they were kept several years. The chief women were charged with the keeping, care, and examination of the diamonds. This important duty was formerly confided to the tire-woman, but for many years had been included in the business of the first femmes de chambre.

I must add here that as the economy of France became in peril, the Queen did not idscsrd her dresses after every season, but kept and had those that needed repair were mended. These dresses would not be seen by the public due to the station of the Queen. It mattered not a wit to those who lived to drag her down in calumny. Had she been seen in an old dress she would have been declared as being below her station, therefore as befits the Queen of France, she dressed accordingly. Naturally she was condemned for being ostentatious while France was "hungry".

This same criticism was not heard about the so-called Empress of the French Josephine Beauharnais who was a notorious spendthrift.


Vive le Roy! Vive la Reine!
de Brantigny


St Louis IX, letter to his Son

April 25 is the Birth date of Saint King Louis IX king of France and of Navarre, and his descendant the current King, Louis XX.

St. Louis' letter of advice to advice his eldest son, the later Philip III provides us with some insight into the attitudes of one of the most Holy and important French kings. While there has been some questions about its authorship, even if not by the hand of Louis IX, it does reflect a mindset which, despite the pieties of the language, puts forth some real concept of kingship - with regard to justice, administration, the various classes, towns and the Church. It is certain Louis XVI attempted to show the same holiness piety as did his ancestor St Louis. This letter is more than just a letter to Philip it is a letter to all leaders. Would that they follow this advise.

1. To his dear first-born son, Philip, greeting, and his father's love.

2. Dear son, since I desire with all my heart that you be well "instructed in all things, it is in my thought to give you some advice this writing. For I have heard you say, several times, that you remember my words better than those of any one else.

3. Therefore, dear son, the first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth.

4- You should, with all your strength, shun everything which you believe to be displeasing to Him. And you ought especially to be resolved not to commit mortal sin, no matter what may happen and should permit all your limbs to be hewn off, and suffer every manner of torment , rather than fall knowingly into mortal sin.

5. If our Lord send you any adversity, whether illness or other in good patience, and thank Him for it, thing, you should receive it in good patience and be thankful for it, for you ought to believe that He will cause everthing to turn out for your good; and likewise you should think that you have well merited it, and more also, should He will it, because you have loved Him but little, and served Him but little, and have done many things contrary to His will.

6. If our Lord send you any prosperity, either health of body or other thing you ought to thank Him humbly for it, and you ought to be careful that you are not the worse for it, either through pride or anything else, for it is a very great sin to fight against our Lord with His gifts.

7. Dear son, I advise you that you accustom yourself to frequent confession, and that you choose always, as your confessors, men who are upright and sufficiently learned, and who can teach you what you should do and what you should avoid. You should so carry yourself that your confessors and other friends may dare confidently to reprove you and show you your faults.

8. Dear son, I advise you that you listen willingly and devoutly the services of Holy Church, and, when you are in church, avoid to frivolity and trifling, and do not look here and there; but pray to God with lips and heart alike, while entertaining sweet thoughts about Him, and especially at the mass, when the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are consecrated, and for a little time before.

9. Dear son, have a tender pitiful heart for the poor, and for all those whom you believe to be in misery of heart or body, and, according to your ability, comfort and aid them with some alms.

10. Maintain the good customs of your realm, and put down the bad ones. Do not oppress your people and do not burden them with tolls or tailles, except under very great necessity.

11. If you have any unrest of heart, of such a nature that it may be told, tell it to your confessor, or to some upright man who can keep your secret; you will be able to carry more easily the thought of your heart.

12. See to it that those of your household are upright and loyal, and remember the Scripture, which says: "Elige viros timentes Deum in quibus sit justicia et qui oderint avariciam"; that is to say, "Love those who serve God and who render strict justice and hate covetousness"; and you will profit, and will govern your kingdom well.

13. Dear son, see to it that all your associates are upright, whether clerics or laymen, and have frequent good converse with them; and flee the society of the bad. And listen willingly to the word of God, both in open and in secret; and purchase freely prayers and pardons.

14. Love all good, and hate all evil, in whomsoever it may be.

15. Let no one be so bold as to say, in your presence, words which attract and lead to sin, and do not permit words of detraction to be spoken of another behind his back.

16. Suffer it not that any ill be spoken of God or His saints in your presence, without taking prompt vengeance. But if the offender be a clerk or so great a person that you ought not to try him, report the matter to him who is entitled to judge it.

17. Dear son, give thanks to God often for all the good things He has done for you, so that you may be worthy to receive more, in such a manner that if it please the Lord that you come to the burden and honor of governing the kingdom, you may be worthy to receive the sacred unction wherewith the kings of France are consecrated.

18. Dear son, if you come to the throne, strive to have that which befits a king, that is to say, that in justice and rectitude you hold yourself steadfast and loyal toward your subjects and your vassals, without turning either to the right or to the left, but always straight, whatever may happen. And if a poor man have a quarrel with a rich man, sustain the poor rather than the rich, until the truth is made clear, and when you know the truth, do justice to them.

19. If any one have entered into a suit against you (for any injury or wrong which he may believe that you have done to him), be always for him and against yourself in the presence of your council, without showing that you think much of your case (until the truth be made known concerning it); for those of your council might be backward in speaking against you, and this you should not wish; and command your judges that you be not in any way upheld more than any others, for thus will your councillors judge more boldly according to right and truth.

20. If you have anything belonging to another, either of yourself or through your predecessors, if the matter is certain, give it up without delay, however great it may be, either in land or money or otherwise. If the matter is doubtful, have it inquired into by wise men, promptly and diligently. And if the affair is so obscure that you cannot know the truth, make such a settlement, by the counsel of s of upright men, that your soul, and the soul your predecessors, may be wholly freed from the affair. And even if you hear some one say that your predecessors made restitution, make diligent inquiry to learn if anything remains to be restored; and if you find that such is the case, cause it to be delivered over at once, for the liberation of your soul and the souls of your predecessors.

21. You should seek earnestly how your vassals and your subjects may live in peace and rectitude beneath your sway; likewise, the good towns and the good cities of your kingdom. And preserve them in the estate and the liberty in which your predecessors kept them, redress it, and if there be anything to amend, amend and preserve their favor and their love. For it is by the strength and the riches of your good cities and your good towns that the native and the foreigner, especially your peers and your barons, are deterred from doing ill to you. I will remember that Paris and the good towns of my kingdom aided me against the barons, when I was newly crowned.

22. Honor and love all the people of Holy Church, and be careful that no violence be done to them, and that their gifts and alms, which your predecessors have bestowed upon them, be not taken away or diminished. And I wish here to tell you what is related concerning King Philip, my ancestor, as one of his council, who said he heard it, told it to me. The king, one day, was with his privy council, and he was there who told me these words. And one of the king's councillors said to him how much wrong and loss he suffered from those of Holy Church, in that they took away his rights and lessened the jurisdiction of his court; and they marveled greatly how he endured it. And the good king answered: "I am quite certain that they do me much wrong, but when I consider the goodnesses and kindnesses which God has done me, I had rather that my rights should go, than have a contention or awaken a quarrel with Holy Church." And this I tell to you that you may not lightly believe anything against the people of Holy Church; so love them and honor them and watch over them that they may in peace do the service of our Lord.

23. Moreover, I advise you to love dearly the clergy, and, so far as you are able, do good to them in their necessities, and likewise love those by whom God is most honored and served, and by whom the Faith is preached and exalted.

24. Dear son, I advise that you love and reverence your father and your mother, willingly remember and keep their commandments, and be inclined to believe their good counsels.

25. Love your brothers, and always wish their well-being and their good advancement, and also be to them in the place of a father, to instruct them in all good. But be watchful lest, for the love which you bear to one, you turn aside from right doing, and do to the others that which is not meet.

26. Dear son, I advise you to bestow the benefices of Holy Church which you have to give, upon good persons, of good and clean life, and that you bestow them with the high counsel of upright men. And I am of the opinion that it is preferable to give them to those who hold nothing of Holy Church, rather than to others. For, if you inquire diligently, you will find enough of those who have nothing who will use wisely that entrusted to them.

27. Dear son, I advise you that you try with all your strength to avoid warring against any Christian man, unless he have done you too much ill. And if wrong be done you, try several ways to see if you can find how you can secure your rights, before you make war; and act thus in order to avoid the sins which are committed in warfare.

28. And if it fall out that it is needful that you should make war (either because some one of your vassals has failed to plead his case in your court, or because he has done wrong to some church or to some poor person, or to any other person whatsoever, and is unwilling to make amends out of regard for you, or for any other reasonable cause), whatever the reason for which it is necessary for you to make war, give diligent command that the poor folk who have done no wrong or crime be protected from damage to their vines, either through fire or otherwise, for it were more fitting that you should constrain the wrongdoer by taking his own property (either towns or castles, by force of siege), than that you should devastate the property of poor people. And be careful not to start the war before you have good counsel that the cause is most reasonable, and before you have summoned the offender to make amends, and have waited as long as you should. And if he ask mercy, you ought to pardon him, and accept his amende, so that God may be pleased with you.

29. Dear son, I advise you to appease wars and contentions, whether they be yours or those of your subjects, just as quickly as may be, for it is a thing most pleasing to our Lord. And Monsignore Martin gave us a very great example of this. For, one time, when our Lord made it known to him that he was about to die, he set out to make peace between certain clerks of his archbishopric, and he was of the opinion that in so doing he was giving a good end to life.

30. Seek diligently, most sweet son, to have good baillis and good prevots in your land, and inquire frequently concerning their doings, and how they conduct themselves, and if they administer justice well, and do no wrong to any one, nor anything which they ought not do. Inquire more often concerning those of your household if they be too covetous or too arrogant; for it is natural that the members should seek to imitate their chief; that is, when the master is wise and well-behaved, all those of his household follow his example and prefer it. For however much you ought to hate evil in others, you shoud have more hatred for the evil which comes from those who derive their power from you, than you bear to the evil of others; and the more ought you to be on your guard and prevent this from happening.

31. Dear son, I advise you always to be devoted to the Church of Rome, and to the sovereign pontiff, our father, and to bear him the the reverence and honor which you owe to your spiritual father.

32. Dear son, freely give power to persons of good character, who know how to use it well, and strive to have wickednesses expelled from your land, that is to say, nasty oaths, and everything said or done against God or our Lady or the saints. In a wise and proper manner put a stop, in your land, to bodily sins, dicing, taverns, and other sins. Put down heresy so far as you can, and hold in especial abhorrence Jews, and all sorts of people who are hostile to the Faith, so that your land may be well purged of them, in such manner as, by the sage counsel of good people, may appear to you advisable.

33. Further the right with all your strength. Moreover I admonish you you that you strive most earnestly to show your gratitude for the benefits which our Lord has bestowed upon you, and that you may know how to give Him thanks therefore

34. Dear son, take care that the expenses of your household are reasonable and moderate, and that its moneys are justly obtained. And there is one opinion that I deeply wish you to entertain, that is to say, that you keep yourself free from foolish expenses and evil exactions, and that your money should be well expended and well acquired. And this opinion, together with other opinions which are suitable and profitable, I pray that our Lord may teach you.

35. Finally, most sweet son, I conjure and require you that, if it please our Lord that I should die before you, you have my soul succored with masses and orisons, and that you send through the congregations of the kingdom of France, and demand their prayers for my soul, and that you grant me a special and full part in all the good deeds which you perform.

36. In conclusion, dear son, I give you all the blessings which a good and tender father can give to a son, and I pray our Lord Jesus Christ, by His mercy, by the prayers and merits of His blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, and of angels and archangels and of all the saints, to guard and protect you from doing anything contrary to His will, and to give you grace to do it always, so that He may be honored and served by you. And this may He do to me as to you, by His great bounty, so that after this mortal life we may be able to be together with Him in the eternal life, and see Him, love Him, and praise Him without end. Amen. And glory, honor, and praise be to Him who is one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit; without beginning and without end. Amen.*

St Louis, you have protected Christendom from the Saracen, you braved captivity, and never waivered in your Catholic Faith. You were among the greatest of kings, and your life is an example for all rulers to follow. Pray for us to our Father in Heaven, through his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ for our succour in our time of peril, and for your descendant Louis XX, King of France. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Dieu Le Roy.
Sieur de Brantigny

* Jean de Joinville, Histoire de Saint Louis, 1309

Louis Alphonse de Bourbon.

Mon Roi, fils de Saint Louis,
Joyeux Anniversaire !
Vive le Roi! Vive Le Roi! Vive Le Roi!


Queen Marie Leszczynska

Elena Maria Vidal has a nice article on Tea at Trianon about the Grandmother of Louis XVI. Maria Karolina Zofia Felicja Leszczyńska was a long suffering woman this who bore every inequity with Christian Charity and reserve. She is the mother of a Beati, Madame Louise of France, known in religion as Sr. Thérèse of Saint Augustine.

Marie Leszczynska (1703-1768) was the queen of Louis XV, and the grandmother of Louis XVI. She was the last Queen of France before Marie-Antoinette. According to Jean Chalon, the author of Chère Marie-Antoinette, Queen Marie tightened up the rigorous court etiquette that Marie-Antoinette later relaxed because it was so suffocating. The daughter of a dethroned monarch and wife of a blatantly unfaithful husband probably needed the highly ritualized pomp to boost her morale and her rank more than did the "daughter of the Caesars." Yes, Marie Lesczynska's father was the dethroned king of Poland and her early life was complicated by upheaval and exile. Yet for this very reason, she was chosen to be the bride of the teenage Louis XV, because she had no political entanglements at all. Her father Stanislaus Leszczynski was delighted when asked for his daughter's hand, as is related here:

A messenger arrives from Versailles with a letter for Stanislaus. Shock! Delight! He rushes to where his wife and daughter sit talking and working at their needle-crafts.

"Down on our knees in thanks to God!"

"Are you restored to the Polish throne?"

"Heaven is still more gracious: you are queen of France."

They embraced with tears, and knelt to thank God for having delivered them from their trials.

and more here as well.

A small gallery may be found here...

A tip of the Beret to Elena-Maria Vidal and much thanks.

Vive La Reine,
de Brantigny

Clark's Trumpet Voluntary

A Monday morning Wake-me-up.

Vive le Roy.
de Barntigny


Franco, The Church and the Fight for Spain's Soul

From the Contrarians Review, I have found this gem. I have reprinted it in its entirety. The site may be found here...

Franco, The Church and the Fight for Spain's Soul--By Kenneth Scheiber

The rule of Francisco Franco, in Spain referred to as Franquismo, has left an indelible mark on the history of Spain and the Catholic Church of his day. In short, Generalissimo Franco adopted a highly dictatorial and militaristic rule following the Spanish Civil War (1936-9) that lasted until the 1970’s. From within and outside of Spain, this regime had many supporters and many dissenters in which one of its largest supporters was the Catholic Church. In this article, we will examine various positives and negatives to the Franco dictatorship and evaluate the historical context under which the Catholic Church supported his rule… which may not appear to be readily obvious to the secular observer.

The movement that eventually evolved into that which Franco led was originally known as the Carlist movement. This movement sprung up in Spain as a post-Napoleonic reaction to the ideas associated with the French Revolution. It was so-named for its support of the highly authoritarian Carlos, the brother of the absolutist Fernando VII (the first post-Napoleonic king). The Carlists supported a strengthened monarchy based on anti-modernist principles and a firm reliance on the traditional teachings of Catholic Church (which unfortunately in their view also included the reinstatement of a state-run, but clerically administered Inquisition). The supporters of Carlos did not fade away after their champion died despite never having ruled Spain or directly imposing their ideology. This suggests that that movement struck a deeper chord with the Spanish population and based itself on a deeper understanding of the world around it. This desire for stability and a firm understanding of what it meant to be Spanish fermented throughout the 19th century and various republican forms of government until a military coup led by Miguel Primo de Rivera following Spain’s loss the United States in the Spanish-American War. Rivera, known as the “Iron Surgeon” (cirujano de hierro) ruled Spain with results seen as largely positive by the population until the Great Depression struck Spain in 1929 and Rivera resigned. When the provisional republican government set up elections a few years later, the losers of the Rivera regime (primarily socialists) overwhelmed the nominating and voting processes with support from the Soviet Union. When they tried to institute socialist policies in a few provinces, Franco (who had been a popular war hero and distrusted by the socialists), entered mainland Spanish territory from North Africa to reinstitute a Rivera-style government that would be free of foreign interference and reaffirm traditional “Spanishness” which Franco viewed as Catholic, Absolutist, economically spry, and independent of foreign political influence. With material support from Hitler’s Germany, the Vatican, and Mussolini’s Italy, his forces overwhelmed the republican (socialist) forces and set up shop from 1936 until the mid-1970’s.

When one examines on what ideas Franco based his politics, it is evident to the observer that he merely was attempting a reaffirmation of the Carlist principles that had become a prominent political ideology in the Spain of the Post-Napoleonic era, Franquismo became a prominent ideology following the Spanish Civil War for many of the same reasons. After considering the political and economic turmoil that governed Spain prior to both the rise of Carlismo and Franquismo, from the end of the Spanish American War until the end of the Spanish Civil War, one can conclude that Franco stood against the turmoil and created the order that the country needed to structurally develop. Franco and Carlismo both supported authoritarian, pro-Catholic, pro-growth, and anti-modernist understandings of their worlds. Let us now examine the specific positives and negatives through which Franco played out these policies.

First, let us investigate the positive policies that Franco instituted. As a general rule, one could some up his policies as anti-modernist in orientation in that he rejected the principles of governance that entered Spain through the Enlightenment. These enlightenment principles included constitutional governance, democracy, secularism, socialism, and subjectivism. The most important of these was subjectivism because in Franco’s mind, secular and constitutional governance was not necessarily based on objective truth. He saw that the law could only serve the country if laws were just and if laws were not based not objective truth then the law would never be just. Since the public at large could not be trusted to adhere to a long-term vision of values and policies, the country required a steady hand at the helm. Furthermore, he needed no better example than the terror provoked by Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Union to see the evidence and for this reason he hunted down socialist cells in Spain.

To prevent an infusion of subjectivism or relativism into society, Franco decided that government policy should be redirected toward education of children and the strengthening of the family. The results of Franco’s social policies brought steady increases in the quality of life for many sectors of society. Such examples include : 1) government salaries and pensions for stay-at-home mothers 2) A modern and improved health care system as the increase in population and decreases in infant mortality and unnatural death can attest. Furthermore, the average women of child-bearing age under the Franco regime bore five children when the natural rate of replacement was two – an indication that life in the Franco regime was not as dire or unpopular as the revisionist historians would have us believe. 3) A modern and improved educational system that included Catholic educational instruction. 4) A vibrant, open economy that attracted record foreign investment. In fact, under Franco, Spain had the highest rates of skilled-labour employment, economic expansion, and demand for Spanish goods abroad than at any other point in its history. The Vatican supported all of these actions taken by the Franco regime as well as the violent suppression of dissent largely from socialist forces. However, it is important to remember the historical context of the period in which the Pius XII supported the Franco regime rather than simply using it as further condemnation of Pius XII’s Papacy.

From the perspective of the Vatican, at the time in which Franco seized power (1930’s) the secularist threat to the Church was primarily the International Socialism. This ideology, Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union primarily espoused and attempted to spread throughout the world. This attempt to spread atheistic socialism resulted in the deaths of millions of Catholics and separated brethren in gulags and concentration camps. Both were targeted through political and social campaigns to purge the world of religion which socialists believed to be inherently evil. After reflecting upon the dangers posed to the Church by international socialism, it is plain to see that National Socialism (Fascism) was not clearly recognized as a threat on the same level as that of international socialism. In the 1930’s, Mussolini had negotiated a concordat with the Vatican that ensured Catholic social values and recognized the significance of the Church in that country. Hitler had not yet begun any bitter campaigns against Christianity and even taken steps toward reconciliation with the Vatican. Franco - a self-proclaimed national socialist - supported Catholicism, was against foreign war, and supported the Vatican philosophically and diplomatically. From the perspective of the Vatican, Franco’s struggle could even be interpreted as a Just War in that he was fighting to rescue his country from the spread of international socialism that was openly hostile to the Church … and that deserved support. It was not until World War II broke out on a grand scale in 1939 that Germany (but not Italy or Spain) began (in 1942) to abrogate their relations with the Vatican and persecute the Catholic Church for speaking out against German atrocities. When considering Franco under these conditions historical context is everything. Franco stopped organized atheistic groups, persecutions of Christians in Spain, and supported the Vatican’s international diplomacy at a time when organized forces sought to extinguish religion from the world – what was wrong with Franco?

There were many parts of Franco’s regime that did garner criticism from the Vatican. First, the Vatican disagreed with Franco’s harsh treatment of dissent following the Civil War period. Second, it disagreed with his seemingly anti-Semitic policies. In the first case, Franco ruled the country as though he were the commander of an occupation army, so that anybody who disagreed with Franco’s understanding of what Spain meant was dealt with as though an insurgent. Pius XII’s condemnations of totalitarian regimes included a statement that said, “desirable as the ends may be, they never justify immoral means.” This understanding of totalitarianism certainly includes underlying philosophy of the Franco regime… that Catholicism and more generally righteous social values can be enforced at gunpoint if necessary – a position that Pius XII felt to be erroneous. In the second case, Franco claimed that the Jews he deported were either Communists or security threats for other reasons. He was also quick to point out that he deported Jews he thought to be problematic rather than embark on organized killings of them as was the German policy. However, Pius XII and his Vatican, a stalwart protector of Jews, considered these Jewish policies to be the result of a friendly relationship with Hitler’s Germany and after the war – anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, behind imploring Franco to change his ways, the Vatican did not have the force necessary to change these policies.

Despite these criticisms of Franco, one again has to remember the historical context through which Franco was criticized. The forces in Spain that were anti-Franco were also ardently anti-Catholic. The groups that opposed the ideas of Franquismo included International Socialists (often Soviet-supported), Euro Socialists (philosophical skeptics), anarquists, and ETA (the Basque terrorist group). In the end, the Vatican simply objected the methods used, but also recognized that within the context of the time and place (World War and Cold War Spain) a Communist takeover in Spain was a likely outcome. From the perspective of the Vatican, the only way to preserve the institutional Church in Spain was to support the Franco regime – who at least supported many desirable social aims, sought to protect the institutional Church, and did not openly interfere with the Vatican’s ability to govern the Church (unlike the alternatives).

In conclusion, in this analysis we have explored the background behind the Franquismo movement, the reason for its rise, and the governing philosophy behind the movement and later dictatorship. We have seen that Franquismo derived its origins from previous movements that had arisen in Spain in the past that had challenged new social movements. The impetus for Franco’s specific military movement was the election of a government based on International Socialist principles that was hostile towards the Catholicism as Montero, as one among many sources, can attest. As a result of raising an army that protected the Catholic Church and the country against violent anti-Catholic revolutionaries, Franco managed to gain the support of the Vatican in a turbulent period. We have further analyzed the context of the world during his rise and consolidation of power and contrasted that with the manner in which the Vatican operated during this period. Through seeing the way in which Franco governed and the goals that Vatican sought to accomplish, it is apparent to see how Franco can be viewed as a generally positive force in Spain from the Catholic perspective in general and in Spain in particular.

Thanks and a tip of the beret to the Contrarians Review.

Vive Le Roy.
de Brantigny


Casanova, Jose. Civil society and religion: retrospective reflections on Catholicism and prospective reflections on Islam. Bnet.com, Social Research, 2001. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2267/is_4_68/ai_83144759/pg_1

Cooper, Norman B. Catholicism and the Franco regime. Beverly Hills, Calif. : Sage Publications, 1975.

Falconi, Carlo. The Silence of Pius XII. London: Faber, 1970.

Halecki, Oskar. Eugenio Pacelli: Pope of Peace. New York: Creative Age Press, 1951.

John Paul II. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican City: Libreria Vaticana 1997.

Marquina Barrio, Antonio. La Diplomacia Vaticana y La Espana de Franco. 1936 – 1945, Madrid: Consejo de Investigaciones, 1983.

Marx, Karl. Das Capital. London: Gateway Edition.

Morcillo ,Aurora G. True Catholic Womanhood: Gender and Ideology in Franco's Spain. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2000. Pp. ix+214

Moreno, Antonio Montero. Historia de la persecución religiosa en Espana 1936-9. Madrid: 1999, p. 761-4.

Noble, Thomas F.X. Popes and the Papacy: A History. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company, 2006

Payne, Stanley G. The Franco regime, 1936-1975. Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, 1987.

Rooney, Nicola. The Role of the Catholic Hierarchy in the Rise to Power of the Franco Regime.

Spain in crisis : the evolution and decline of the Franco régime. New York : Barnes & Noble Books, c1976.





5)Quesada, Cooper, Payne, Morcillo, Spain in Crisis: all developments discussed in these sources.
Noble, Lecture “Pius XII’s Troubled Papacy”

6)International Socialism: system of government where the government utilizes state-owned enterprises for the purpose of promoting its values in other countries.


8)Marx – Das Kapital, “…religion iss the opiate of the masses…”
See also Rooney 2, Moreno 761 – see statistics below

9)National Socialism: system of government where the government uses state-owned enterprises to promote its views of traditional values for the improvement of the country.

10)John Paul II, 2309. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines a Just War as – a war that is necessary for the preservation of greater human life against an unjust aggressor. In this analysis, the Communist insurrection could be considered an unjust aggressor for trying to violently implement its ideology through revolution and specific targeting of the Church and its ideology as enemies.

11)Moreno 761. Moreno estimated that in Spain alone from 1936-9 - 6,832 Catholic Clergy were killed by anti-Franco groups, including 13 Spanish Bishops. In addition, many churches were specifically targeted for burning.



14)Rooney 1



17)See note 8

About the Author: Kenneth Schrieber is a teacher and Diplomatic Historian who lives in North Carolina.

Make it stop.

The new name a Yale for Abortion is "Art".

New Haven, Apr 18, 2008 / 08:29 pm (CNA).-

The truth of a Yale art student’s claim that she artificially inseminated herself, induced miscarriages, and filmed the process for exhibition has been called into doubt. A spokesperson for the university characterized story as “performance art,” insisting there had been no self-impregnations and self-induced abortions.

The art student denied the university’s claim the story was an artistic hoax, saying the university was distancing itself from her project because of a “media frenzy.” However, the student admitted she was not sure whether she was ever pregnant when she supposedly attempted to induce the miscarriages.

Thursday news reports about art student Aliza Shvarts caused a storm of news coverage and commentary. Shvarts claimed the exhibit would "spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body," telling the Yale Daily News that she was not ashamed of the exhibition and had become “increasingly comfortable” discussing her induced miscarriages in everyday conversation.

Helaine Klasky, a Yale University spokesperson, said in a Thursday statement that Shvarts is “engaged in performance art.”

“Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She stated to three senior Yale University officials today, including two deans, that she did not impregnate herself and that she did not induce any miscarriages.”

“The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman's body. She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art.”
“Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns."

Kristan Hawkins, director of Students for Life America, responded to Klasky’s statement:

“I am appalled that Yale University would allow a student to use the tragedy of miscarriage and abortion as a practical joke and then call it 'art.' If a male art student would have released that he planned to exhibit condoms he used to rape multiple women in an effort to produce shock, the American people and pro-choice feminist groups across the country would have demanded that the student apologize for his grotesque behavior and be severely reprimanded or expelled from school.”

Hawkins continued, saying, “Falsely announcing that one has taken several lives is unethical, and this girl has inflicted serious harm to the women of this country who have experienced the pain of miscarriage.”

According to the Yale Daily News, in a late Thursday interview Shvarts insisted her exhibit was not a hoax. She shared with reporters video she claimed depicted her self-induced attempts at miscarriage.

“No one can say with 100-percent certainty that anything in the piece did or did not happen.” Shvarts said. She added that she does not know whether she was ever pregnant. “The nature of the piece is that it did not consist of certainties,” she said.

In a statement issued just before midnight on Thursday, Yale spokeswoman Klasky said that Shvarts had promised that if the university revealed her alleged admission that her exhibit was merely a performance, she would deny the claim.

“Her denial is part of her performance,” Klasky wrote in an e-mail. “We are disappointed that she would deliberately lie to the press in the name of art.”

On Friday morning, Shvarts insisted the exhibit was not a hoax and claimed she had proceeded with the backing of university faculty. Shvarts said faculty supportive of her work included the dean of her residential college and at least two faculty members in the School of Art.

“I’m not going to absolve them by saying it was some sort of hoax when it wasn’t,” she said. “I started out with the University on board with what I was doing, and because of the media frenzy they’ve been trying to dissociate with me. Ultimately I want to get back to a point where they renew their support because ultimately this was something they supported.”

According to Shvarts, she planned in her exhibit to suspend from the gallery’s ceiling a large cube wrapped with hundreds of feet with plastic sheeting. The plastic sheeting, she claimed, would be lined with the blood from her self-induced miscarriages.

Shvarts claimed she planned to project on four sides of the cube the recorded video of herself during the miscarriages. She showed to Yale Daily News reporters elements she said were part of her planned exhibit, including footage of the alleged miscarriage attempts.

Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Pray for us for we are sinners.
de Brantigny


Le premier portrait de Marie-Antoinette,

The first portrait of Marie-Antoinette by Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun.

A Innsbruck, un palais abrite le premier portrait officiel de Marie-Antoinette, réalisé par Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun, son artiste attitrée et son amie personnelle. On y découvre une femme élégante, une des plus jolies femmes célèbres de l'époque.

Vive La Reine,
de Brantigny

Les fromages de la France Comté

A new blog which I have found is Les Recettes de Louis la Vache. Today we have cheese. I will try to feature some of these from time to time. I am hungry already.

Les fromages de la France - la série:

Pont l'Évêque

Comté is a French cheese made from unpasteurized cow's milk in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France.

Comté has the highest production figures of all French Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) cheeses. Production totals around 40,000 tons annually.

Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), "controlled term of origin" is the French certification granted to certain French geographical areas for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, all under the auspices of the government bureau Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO). The name Comté is French for 'county', and the cheese is named after the Franche-Comté region.


The cheese is made in flat circular discs, each between 40 and 70 centimetres in diameter, and around 10 centimetres in height. Each weighs up to 50 kilograms (110 pounds). The fat content is around 45%. The rind is usually a dusty-brown color, and the internal pâte is a pale creamy yellow. The texture is relatively hard and flexible, and the taste is mild, slightly sweet, and "nutty." Comté is very similar to the Swiss-made Gruyére. more...

Oh yes it is good...

Thanks and tip of the beret to Louis la Vache. (Yes, la vache means cow.)

Dieu Le Roy,
de Brantigny

Tours revisited

Catholic Church in France Receives Converts From Islam

Laudem Gloriae has an article on her Blog about how Muslims are converting to Catholicism. Lauds tibi Domine.

France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population. Estimates range from 3-10% out of 62 million French. Most of them come from Algeria and Morocco, though there are others from the Middle East and Asia. It is common walking down the street or riding on the bus to come across Muslim women with hair covered, though most of them seem more secularized, wearing jeans and the garb of the average French woman. Only one-third of the Muslims in France describe themselves as observant believers, and only one-fifth claim to visit the mosque regularly on Fridays. There are approximately 1,500 mosques in France, in comparison to 40,000 Catholic churches.Interestingly enough, many Muslims end up sending their children to private Catholic schools, as they are the only religious option in secular France. more..

Dieu le Roy,
de Brantigny

Why Pay Four Bucks?

The Carmelite Monks of Wyoming

For centuries Monks have produced wine and beer to sell to maintain their monasteries. It was only a matter of time before enterprising monks started packaging coffee.

Mystic Monk Coffee is roasted by the Carmelite Monks, a Roman Catholic monastery in the silence and solitude of the Rocky Mountains of northern Wyoming. The monks live a hidden life of prayer and contemplation in the pursuit of God. The monastery is inundated with young men who seek to leave everything to pray for the world, in a tradition at least a thousand years old. It is the monks’ great joy and privilege to share the fruit of their life with you in every cup of Mystic Monk Coffee.

Their on line order form is here.

Another Royal Princess

On 16 April, 2008 Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium celebrated the birth of their fourth child, Princess Eleonore Fabiola Victoria Anne Marie. Princess Eleonore shares a birthday with Pope Benedict XVI.

May God always look down upon you with gladness little Eleonore.

Dieu Le Roy.
de Brantigny

Photo Gallery here:


An Update

Here is an updated article on the article I wrote earlier last week. It scares me to think I may have a libertarian outlook even on one thing. You may find this interesting, here...

Dieu le Roy.
de Brantigny