So lucerei saw fit to tag me in this little game (hvala za tole by the way!).
Here goes nothing…
So lucerei saw fit to tag me in this little game (hvala za tole by the way!).
Here goes nothing…
Bánh mì is an amazing combination of French baguette and native Vietnamese ingredients such as pork/beef/tofu/mock duck, butter mayonnaise, fish sauce, fresh cucumbers, cilantro, shredded pickled carrots, daikon and a slice of jalapeño pepper.
Bánh mì was first introduced to Vietnam in the late 18th century, when Vietnam fell under French colonial rule. However, when the French rule ended in 1954, the Vietnamese created their own traditional version of the sandwich.
A scholar sits with his dog, lion and dragon at his feet, c.1390-1396
Every scholar should have a pet, for companionship and inspiration. A dog, like here, or an owl, or maybe even a white cat.
The mini-lion and the mini-wyvern are showing off a bit, but if this chap is working on something heraldic, he has an excuse. They may even be tax-deductible.
HISTORY MEME - VERSION FRANÇAISE ♛ Women : Jeanne d’Arc (1412-1431)
Folk heroine and Roman Catholic saint, Jeanne was born to a peasant family in north-east France. Claiming divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories against England during the Hundred Years’ War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII of France. She was captured by the Burgundians, transferred to the English in exchange for money, put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais, Pierre Cauchon, for charges of “insubordination and heterodoxy”, and was burned at the stake for heresy when she was 19 years old. Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. Jeanne d’Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is one of the patron saints of France, along with Saint Denis, Saint Martin of Tours, Saint Louis IX and Saint Theresa of Lisieux. Jeanne said she had received visions from God instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years’ War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and caused the lifting of the siege in only nine days. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII’s coronation at Reims.
First, I apologise for the length of this post, and second, I apologise for my frankly lazy mostly Wikipedia-citations, because they’re a lot more accessible, and hence more useful, than tracking down the original book citations that absolutely no one on Tumblr would hunt down anyway, so you’d still have to take my word for their reliability.
This is a selection of a few notable black people who spent time in France between the late 18th and late 19th centuries. Some were born there, some moved there, some were educated there, and some lived there temporarily as expats. Their stories also make clear that that there were other black people in France at the time—members of regiments recruited from Haiti and Africa during the French Revolution [x], students at the Sorbonne in the 1830s [x], abolitionist literary and political circles [x], and amongst the bourgeoisie, as well as servants and other lower-class workers. Continental France was not isolated in a bubble from its colonies—people moved back and forth between them, particularly those with education and money, neither of which was limited to white people at this point in time. It was not uncommon for well-off black and mixed race colonials to be educated in France, particularly in the 19th century.
Was France an anti-racist paradise? No. Many of the people here encountered racism in multiple forms, and “white-passing” or almost-passing Créole women in particular were often exoticized and stereotyped. This is also the same period when Khoikhoi woman Saartjie Baartman was exhibited in Paris as a sideshow attraction. Even successful and respected multiracial authors such as Alexandre Dumas encountered prejudice. But there were black and mixed race people living in France in this period and earlier, in notable numbers. This is well-documented historical fact. For each of these people, I found several more people with names and documented stories, but no accompanying portraits—soldiers, politicians, and abolitionists in particular, as France in this period had thriving abolition societies.
And for each of them, how many ordinary black people in France—shopkeepers and lady’s maids and stonemasons and bankers—were not recorded in historical records? 19th century fiction authors such as Victor Hugo occasionally mentioned the race of minor characters in Parisian settings as “black” or “créole” without further elaboration, suggesting that the presence of black and mixed race people in Paris was not worth great remark. [x]
(Please note that this post uses 19th century racial terms which may or may not still be in use today, such as “octoroon” and “mulatto.” These are the terms by which the people would have been identified in their time period. Some of the historical sources quoted also use the term “Negro.” I do not personally endorse throwing these terms around sans historical context.)
1. Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George (25th December, 1745 – 10th June, 1799), was a noted composer, violinist, and conductor, and prior to the French Revolution, he was also known as a swordsman and equestrian. Originally from Guadelupe, he was born to white French plantation owner Georges Boulogne de Saint-George and a former slave, Nanon. In 1749, the family moved to Paris, where Joseph quickly excelled at physical and musical arts. Although selected for appointment as the director of the Royal Opera of Louis XVI, he was refused when three Parisian singers petitioned the Queen, refusing to sing under the direction of “a mulatto”. Although a noble and a member of the court of Versailles, during the French Revolution, Boulogne commanded a regiment of one thousand “colored” volunteers, but was denounced and imprisoned due to his aristocratic background. He adjusted poorly to life as a commoner and died in 1799, age 54. The portrait is by William Ward (1788), after an earlier painting by Mather Brown. [x]
2. Thomas-Alexandre Dumas (25th March, 1762 – 26th February, 1806) was the highest-ranking person of colour of all time in a continental European army. He was born in Saint-Domingue, Haiti, to a white French father and a black mother; because slavery was illegal in continental France, he became free by default when his father brought him to France in 1776 (his father sold Thomas-Alexandre’s three siblings in Haiti). Thomas-Alexandre grew up in a suburb of Paris, where he received the education of a young nobleman. By 31, he commanded 53,000 troops as General-in-Chief of the French Army of the Alps. The painting is by Olivier Pichat and dates to the 19th century. [x]
3. Sally Hemings (c. 1773 – 1835) was an enslaved woman of mixed race owned by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. In 1784, when Jefferson moved to Paris as the American envoy to France, he took Sally and her older brother James Hemings, along with some of his other slaves. There he had James trained as a chef in French cuisine, while Sally accompanied Jefferson’s teenaged daughter, Polly. In France, slavery was illegal, so Jefferson paid Sally and James (minimal) wages. Both studied French Sally may have accompanied Jefferson’s oldest daughter Martha to formal events as a lady’s maid. Under French law, both Sally and James could have petitioned for freedom and remained in France; however, they returned to Virginia with Jefferson. As no portraits of Sally Hemings survive, the miniature portrait is of her daughter Harriet, most likely Jefferson’s daughter. [x]
4. Cyrille Bissette (9th July, 1795 – 22nd January, 1858) was a monarchist politician from Martinique, born to Charles Borromeo Bissette, a black man from Marin, and his free Métis wife, Bellaine Melanie Elizabeth. Due to his abolitionist views, he was banished from the French colonies for ten years by the Court of Guadelupe. After Bissette moved to Paris, he founded the abolitionist journals la Revue des colonies and la Revue abolition[n]iste, as well as wrote a book refuting Schoelcher, Réfutation du Livre de M. V. Schœlcher sur Haïti. He was a member of the National Assembly, representing Martinique, from 1848-1851. Print by François Le Villain, 1828. [x]
5. Jeanne Duval (c.1820 – 1862) was a Haitian-born actress and dancer of mixed French and black African ancestry. In 1842, she moved to Paris, France with poet Charles Baudelaire, where she lived for 20 years. She remained in a stormy relationship with Baudelaire and inspired much of his poetry, including Le balcon, Parfum exotique, La chevelure, Sed non satiata, Le serpent qui danse, and Une charogne. Baudelaire’s friend Édouard Manet painted her in 1862, when she was already blind from the syphilis which killed both her and Baudelaire. Sketch by Charles Baudelaire c. 1850. [x]
6. Alexandre Dumas, père (24th July, 1802 – 5th December, 1870) was son of Alexandre-Thomas Dumas, is probably best known as the writer of The Three Musketeers and Count of Monte Cristo. His many historical adventure novels have been translated into over 100 languages, making him one of the most widely-read French authors of all time. Although most of his work does not touch on race, his short novel Georges (1843) addresses race and colonialism, and when insulted about his ancestry he once replied:
My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro, and my great-grandfather a monkey. You see, Sir, my family starts where yours ends.
Dumas was a friend of Victor Hugo, and they moved in the same artistic circles. The sketch is by Achille Devéria, 1829. [x]
7. Louisy Mathieu (17th June, 1817 – 1874) was a politician from Guadelupe who served in the French National Assembly from 1848 to 1849. He was a slave before the 1848 French Revolution, which made all citizens of French colonies free; after that he was elected to the Assembly [x]. He is mentioned briefly in Victor Hugo’s memoirs [x]:
There were about fifty Representatives present that evening. The negro Representative Louisy Mathieu, in white gloves, was accompanied by the negrophile Representative Schoelcher in black gloves. People said: “O fraternity! they have exchanged hands!”
Official portrait from the French National Assembly, 1848 or 1849 (Bibliothèque de l’Assemblée nationale).
8. Pierre-Marie Pory-Papy (3rd May, 1805 – 27th January, 1874) was a lawyer and politician from Martinique, son of a free man of colour and and a later-freed woman, Antoinette. After earning his baccalaureate in 1834 in Aix-en-Provence, France, Pory-Papy studied law in Paris; in 1835 he returned to Saint-Pierre, Martinique, to practice. During his political career, he served as a city councillor, deputy mayor, and mayor, of Saint-Pierre, and member of the National Assembly for Martinique (1848-1849 and 1871-1874). It’s unclear to me how much of this time he lived in France, but he died in Versailles. Photograph date unknown. [x]
9. Victor Séjour (1817 – 1874) was an American expatriate writer who worked in France. Born in new Orleans to a free mulatto father from Santo Domingo and Eloisa Phillippe Ferrand, a free African-American octoroon born in New Orleans, he was well-educated in a private school. At nineteen he moved to Paris to continue his education, where he met members of the Parisian literary elite, including Cyrille Bissette, whose abolitionist journal La Revue des colonies published Séjour’s short story ”Le Mulâtre" 1837. "Le Mulâtre," which heavily critiqued slavery, is believed to be the first published fiction by an African-American writer. Séjour later became a playwright. Caricature from Diogène, 1857. [x]
10. Alfred-Amédéé Dodds (6th February, 1842 – 18th July, 1922) was a French general of Senegalese origin who commanded French forces during the Second Franco-Dahomean War. An octoroon and Métis, he was admired in the African Diaspora of the early 20th century despite his involvement in the destruction of one of Africa’s most powerful pre-colonial states, Dahomey (now Bénin). He died in 1922 in Paris, France. Portrait from the cover of L’Illustration, 1893. [x]
Finally, I apologize for the lack of woman in this historyspam: for various unsurprising reasons, I couldn’t find many examples of named women with extant portraits, although if you know of any I’d love to hear about them—I found way more men then I could use, so a second historyspam is a definite possibility.
Voltaire on sodomy, from Who’s Who in Gay & Lesbian History.
"But he was probably being facetious" - personally, that’s the problem when one is looking into Voltaire’s opinions (not specifically on homosexuality, on most things really). He’s always torn between a veil of sarcasm and mockery and actual sincerity. Not to mention that sometimes he expresses some opinions to a certain group of people and then the exact opposite view to another group.
If it helps, Nancy Mitford who was a biographer both of Voltaire and of Frederick (and she was not one to pay too much attention to homosexuality, confessing that she “did not understand it”) said that “no one who studies the life of Voltaire can doubt that he had homosexual tendencies”.
London, 1790: An engraving depicts a regiment of Foot Guards in front of St. James’s Palace. Included among the soldier-musicians is a serpent player.
Worn by the Russian Army from 1786 to 1796, the Potemkin uniform was one of the most bizarre developments in military fashion.
In 1786, Empress Catherine the Great ordered a universal uniform for the whole of the Russian Army. The uniform, though tremendously ugly, was actually quite practical- contrary to contemporary trends in European military costume. The jacket, known as a Kurtka, fit loosely, and closed entirely down the breast. The trousers, an anomaly in and of themselves, were reinforced with leather, mimicking the appearance of leather boots. Capping it all off was a fur-crested leather helmet, worn in lieu of the cocked hat or metal-fronted mitre.
The uniform was abolished by Paul I upon ascending the throne in 1796, and replaced with a more traditional, Prussian-inspired costume.
- Knoetel, Richard and Herbert Knoetel. Uniforms of the World, trans. Roland G. Ball (Arms and Armour, 1983)
- Martin, Paul. “War of the French Revolution and the Coalitions, 1792-1803” in Battledress, ed. I.T. Schick (Weidenfield and Nicholson, 1978)
C. “Subaltern, Potemkin Regiment, 1790-92,” Unknown source.
The Battle of Kulikovo, 1380
Along the banks of the Don river, the once invincible Mongol Golden Horde is defeated for the very first time by a coalition of Russian princes.
Soviet military propaganda poster from 1969.
“Learn to protect the Motherland!”
Indra Dugar's paintings of the 1940s. The colours and costumes suggest either Rajasthan or Gujarat.
Antonio Ciseri’s depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Christ to the people.
Ecce homo (“Behold the man”), 1871.
Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803), Campi Phlegraei: observations on the volcanos of the Two Sicilies as they have been communicated to the Royal society of London, 1776.
Houghton Library, Harvard University