French Revolution

The French queen purchased the pair of diamond bracelets for 250,000 livres in 1776.

Marie Antoinette's Diamond Bracelets Are Going Up for Auction

The jewels carry an estimate of $2 to $4 million but may fetch a far higher price

Workers discovered a trove of rare gold coins, pictured here, in the walls of a historic French mansion in 2019. Now, the coins are going up for auction.

Cool Finds

Trove of 239 Rare Gold Coins Discovered in Walls of French Mansion

Renovators discovered a hidden box and pouch stuffed with rare gold coins, minted during the reigns of French Kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV

Jacques-Louis David, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and Marie Anne Lavoisier (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836), 1788

Art Meets Science

Iconic Portrait of French Chemist and His Wife Once Looked Entirely Different

Jacques-Louis David's 1789 painting originally depicted Antoine and Marie Anne Lavoisier as wealthy elites, not modern scientists

Peter Mark Roget compiled his influential thesaurus late in life.

Before He Wrote a Thesaurus, Roget Had to Escape Napoleon's Dragnet

At the dawn of the 19th century, the young Brit got caught in an international crisis while touring Europe

More than 500 people guillotined during the French Revolution may have been buried in the walls of this 19th-century chapel.

Remains Discovered in Parisian Chapel May Belong to Guillotined Aristocrats

New research suggests the bodies of nearly 500 nobles beheaded during the Reign of Terror are buried in Chapelle Expiatoire

Father Karel Stautemas raising a glass of Grimbergen beer

A Belgian Abbey Is Using Centuries-Old Recipes to Revive Its Brewery

Grimbergen Abbey in Belgium will produce its first beers in more than 200 years

A famous Enlightenment era writer and philosopher, Voltaire made a splash with his first play, Oedipe.

How Voltaire Went from Bastille Prisoner to Famous Playwright

Three hundred years ago this week, the French philosopher and writer began his career with a popular retelling of Sophocles' 'Oedipus'

What if Napoleon hadn't stopped at invading Russia and instead created a world under French control?

What if Napoleon Hadn't Lost Europe and Other Questions of Alternate History

How the 200-year-old literary genre reflects changing notions of history and society

Madame Pompadour, by Francois Boucher

Madame de Pompadour Was Far More Than a ‘Mistress’

Even though she was a keen politicker and influential patron, she’s been historically overlooked

Madame Tussauds Berlin--one of the many Tussauds wax museums that bears Marie Tussaud's name--has a wax sculpture of Marie Tussaud herself. Here, she's portrayed sculpting the head of Ben Franklin (which is a thing she actually did).

How Marie Tussaud Created a Wax Empire

From France, to Britain, to the world, Tussaud's waxworks endure

Brr.

The Father of Modern Chemistry Proved Respiration Occurred by Freezing a Guinea Pig

Where he got the guinea pig from remains a mystery

Napoleon Bonaparte was born on this day in 1769 in Corsica. As a young man at school, one instructor said that he "has always been distinguished for his application in mathematics."

Napoleon's Lifelong Interest in Science

Napoleon was a Frenchman of his time, which means he was interested in how science could do good–he just took it farther than most

The Louvre Pyramid was completed in 1989 and is part of the entrance to the modern Louvre art gallery.

Three Things to Know About the Louvre's History

The home of the Mona Lisa has a history that's almost 1000 years long

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