5 Oct: To Versailles! To Versailles!

The ‘Women’s March’ of 1789 began spontaneously, when a market trader banged a drum in a Parisian square on 5th October – launching a chain of events which would eventually end a century of Versailles rule and lead to the execution of Louis XVI.

Initially a reaction to the grain shortage that had left Parisians hungry as the aristocracy indulged in luxuries, the protest soon morphed into an angry mob demanding everything from the relocation of the monarchy to the murder of Marie Antoinette.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly ask why the protestors reportedly fainted at the King’s feet once granted an audience with him; review some of the bizarre weaponry mobilised by the mob; and learn that the French Revolution happened a lot more slowly than you probably think it did… 

Further Reading:

• ‘A History of the Women’s March on Versailles’ (ThoughtCo, 2019): https://www.thoughtco.com/womens-march-on-versailles-3529107

• ‘How Bread Shortages Helped Ignite The French Revolution’ (HISTORY): https://www.history.com/news/bread-french-revolution-marie-antoinette#:~:text=The%20Bread%20Famine%20in%2018th%2Dcentury%20France.&text=It%20didn’t%20work.,a%20little%20over%20three%20weeks

• ‘What It Was Like To Live At Versailles’ (Weird History, 2019):