Caroline Weber

Caroline Weber is professor of French at Barnard College and Columbia University. Her books include Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution.

According​ to the French revolutionary calendar, Year I began in September 1792 with the abolition of the Bourbon monarchy and the declaration of a republic. In the National Convention, the new legislative assembly in Paris, the Montagnard faction quickly achieved dominance after two early victories. First, in the winter of 1792-93, it secured the execution of the dethroned Louis XVI. Next,...

‘The revolution,’ Baudelaire wrote in his notes on Les Liaisons dangereuses, ‘was made by voluptuaries.’ He was drawing attention to two paradoxes. One was the role that France’s free-thinking, pleasure-loving aristocrats – the real-life versions of Laclos’s characters – played in instigating this upheaval, undermining the system that upheld...

The Limits of Chivalry: Courtly Love

Caroline Weber, 23 January 2014

‘A court without women,’ François I once proclaimed, ‘is like a year without springtime, like springtime without roses.’ By this measure, spring roses bloomed eternal in the châteaux of Renaissance France. From the mid-15th century, when Charles VII anointed Agnès Sorel, the country’s first maîtresse en titre, to the late 16th century, when...

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