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    Let them eat cake

    Let them eat cake

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    This article is about the phrase. For other uses, see Let them eat cake (disambiguation).

    "Let them eat cake" is commonly, although inaccurately, attributed to Marie Antoinette

    "Let them eat cake" is the traditional translation of the French phrase "",[1] said to have been spoken in the 17th or 18th century by "a great princess" upon being told that the peasants had no bread. The French phrase mentions brioche, a bread enriched with butter and eggs, considered a luxury food. The quote is taken to reflect either the princess's frivolous disregard for the starving peasants or her poor understanding of their plight.

    While the phrase is commonly attributed to Marie Antoinette, there are references to it prior to the French Revolution, meaning that it is impossible for the quote to have originated from Antoinette, and it is likely it was spoken by her.[2][3][4]

    Brioche

    Contents

    1 Origins

    1.1 Attribution to Marie Antoinette

    1.2 Attribution to Maria Theresa of Spain

    1.3 Other attributions

    2 Similar phrases 3 See also 4 References 5 Notes 6 Bibliography

    Origins[edit]

    The phrase appears in book six of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's , whose first six books were written in 1765 and published in 1782. In the book, Rousseau recounts an episode in which he was seeking bread to accompany some wine he had stolen. Feeling too elegantly dressed to go into an ordinary bakery, he recalled the words of a "great princess":[5]

    At length I remembered the last resort of a great princess who, when told that the peasants had no bread, replied: "Then let them eat brioches."

    — Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions

    Rousseau does not name the "great princess", and he may have invented the anecdote, as the is not considered entirely factual.[6]

    Attribution to Marie Antoinette[edit]

    The phrase was supposedly said by Marie Antoinette in 1789, during one of the famines in France during the reign of her husband, King Louis XVI. But it was not attributed to her until half a century later. Although anti-monarchists never cited the anecdote during the French Revolution, it acquired great symbolic importance in subsequent historical accounts when pro-revolutionary commentators employed the phrase to denounce the upper classes of the as oblivious and rapacious. As one biographer of the Queen notes, it was a particularly powerful phrase because "the staple food of the French peasantry and the working class was bread, absorbing 50 percent of their income, as opposed to 5 percent on fuel; the whole topic of bread was therefore the result of obsessional national interest."[7]

    Rousseau's first six books were written in 1765, when Marie Antoinette was nine years of age, and published when she was 26, eight years after she became queen.

    The increasing unpopularity of Marie Antoinette in the final years before the outbreak of the French Revolution also likely influenced many to attribute the phrase to her. During her marriage to Louis XVI, her critics often cited her perceived frivolousness and very real extravagance as factors that significantly worsened France's dire financial straits.[8] Her Austrian birth and her gender also diminished her credibility further in a country where xenophobia and chauvinism were beginning to exert major influence in national politics.[9] While the causes of France's economic woes extended far beyond the royal family's spending, anti-monarchist polemics demonized Marie Antoinette as , who had single-handedly ruined France's finances.[10] These printed stories and articles vilifying her family and their courtiers with exaggerations, fictitious anecdotes, and outright lies. In the tempestuous political climate, it would have been a natural slander to put the famous words into the mouth of the widely scorned queen.

    The phrase was attributed to Marie Antoinette by Alphonse Karr in of March 1843.[11][Note a]

    Attribution to Maria Theresa of Spain[edit]

    Objections to the legend of Marie Antoinette and the comment centre on arguments concerning the Queen's personality, internal evidence from members of the French royal family and the date of the saying's origin. According to Antonia Fraser, the notorious story of the ignorant princess was first said 100 years Marie Antoinette in relation to Marie-Thérèse, the wife of Louis XIV, citing the memoirs of Louis XVIII, who was only fourteen when Rousseau's were written and whose own memoirs were published much later.[2] Louis XVIII does not mention Marie Antoinette in his account, but says that the story was an old legend and that the family always believed that Maria Theresa had originated the phrase. However, Louis XVIII is as likely as others to have had his recollection affected by the quick spreading and distorting of Rousseau's original remark.

    Fraser also points out in her biography that Marie Antoinette was a generous patron of charity and moved by the plight of the poor when it was brought to her attention, thus making the statement out of character for her.[12] This makes it even more unlikely that Marie Antoinette ever said the phrase.

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    Did Marie

    Party like it’s 1789

    Did Marie-Antoinette Really Say “Let Them Eat Cake”?

    By John M. Cunningham

    Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

    “Let them eat cake” is the most famous quote attributed to Marie-Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. As the story goes, it was the queen’s response upon being told that her starving peasant subjects had no bread. Because cake is more expensive than bread, the anecdote has been cited as an example of Marie-Antoinette’s obliviousness to the conditions and daily lives of ordinary people. But did she ever actually utter those words? Probably not.

    For one thing, the original French phrase that Marie-Antoinette is supposed to have said—“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”—doesn’t exactly translate as “Let them eat cake.” It translates as, well, “Let them eat brioche.” Of course, since brioche is a rich bread made with eggs and butter, almost as luxurious as cake, it doesn’t really change the point of the story. But the queen wouldn’t have been referring to the sort of dessert that English speakers often imagine.

    More important, though, there is absolutely no historical evidence that Marie-Antoinette ever said “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” or anything like it. So where did the quote come from, and how did it become associated with Marie-Antoinette?

    As it happens, folklore scholars have found similar tales in other parts of the world, although the details differ from one version to another. In a tale collected in 16th-century Germany, for instance, a noblewoman wonders why the hungry poor don’t simply eat Krosem (a sweet bread). Essentially, stories of rulers or aristocrats oblivious to their privileges are popular and widespread legends.

    The first person to put the specific phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” into print may have been the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In Book VI of Rousseau’s Confessions (written about 1767), he relates a version of the story, attributing the quote to “a great princess.” Although Marie-Antoinette was a princess at the time, she was still a child, so it is unlikely that she was the princess Rousseau had in mind.

    Since Rousseau’s writings inspired the revolutionaries, it has sometimes been supposed that they picked up on this quote, falsely credited it to Marie-Antoinette, and spread it as propaganda, as a way to rouse opposition to the monarchy. However, contemporary researchers are skeptical of such claims, having found no evidence of the quote in newspapers, pamphlets, and other materials published by the revolutionaries.

    Amazingly, the earliest known source connecting the quote with the queen was published more than 50 years after the French Revolution. In an 1843 issue of the journal Les Guêpes, the French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr reported having found the quote in a “book dated 1760,” which he said proved that the rumor about Marie-Antoinette was false. Rumor? Like so many of us, he was probably just repeating something he had heard.

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    Source : www.britannica.com

    Did Marie

    It’s one of the most famous quotes in history. At some point around 1789, when being told that her French subjects had no bread, Marie-Antoinette (bride of

    Did Marie-Antoinette really say “Let them eat cake”?

    Author: History.com Staff Updated: Aug 31, 2018 Original: Oct 24, 2012

    It’s one of the most famous quotes in history. At some point around 1789, when being told that her French subjects had no bread, Marie-Antoinette (bride of France’s King Louis XVI) supposedly sniffed, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”—“Let them eat cake.” With that callous remark, the queen became a hated symbol of the decadent monarchy and fueled the revolution that would cause her to (literally) lose her head several years later. But did Marie-Antoinette really say those infuriating words? Not according to historians. Lady Antonia Fraser, author of a biography of the French queen, believes the quote would have been highly uncharacteristic of Marie-Antoinette, an intelligent woman who donated generously to charitable causes and, despite her own undeniably lavish lifestyle, displayed sensitivity towards the poor population of France.

    That aside, what’s even more convincing is the fact that the “Let them eat cake” story had been floating around for years before 1789. It was first told in a slightly different form about Marie-Thérèse, the Spanish princess who married King Louis XIV in 1660. She allegedly suggested that the French people eat “la croûte de pâté” (or the crust of the pâté). Over the next century, several other 18th-century royals were also blamed for the remark, including two aunts of Louis XVI. Most famously, the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau included the pâté story in his “Confessions” in 1766, attributing the words to “a great princess” (probably Marie-Thérèse). Whoever uttered those unforgettable words, it was almost certainly not Marie-Antoinette, who at the time Rousseau was writing was only 10 years old—three years away from marrying the French prince and eight years from becoming queen.

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