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The Raucous Royals
Vlad Dracula
Richard III
Henry VIII
Anne Boleyn
Anne of Cleves
Mary Queen of Scots
Elizabeth I
Louis XIV
Peter the Great
Marie Antoinette
Napoleon Bonaparte
Catherine the Great
George III
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleonora di Toledo

Featured Rumors....which are true?

Marie Antoinette, Queen of France
Marie Antoinette
Rumor : When told the poor did not have food, Marie Antoinette said "let them eat cake."

France was one big raucous mess in the 18th century. Enter Marie Antoinette, the youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa. At the age of 14, Marie was shipped from Austria to marry the intelligent yet shy Dauphin, Louis XVI. She was then thrown into the glittering court of Versailles full of senseless rituals and gossip hungry courtiers. But while Versailles sparkled on the surface, France's debts from the Seven Years War were growing larger and larger. To make matters worse, Louis although a devoted father and husband, prefered to tinker with watches instead of waging wars. And Marie was just plain bored. So she did what any young lady would do with time and money on her hands... she poofed her hair out and went on one long shopping and gambling binge.

The Blame Game
But let's not place all the blame on Marie. Politics in France were unfair before she ever stepped her jewel-clad slipper into France. The poor were taxed heavily while the rich didn’t pay any taxes. This tax system caused the peasants and working classes to get poorer and poorer. Then, France had some nasty weather that caused a bread shortage. Marie had already developed a reputation in her teen queen days for being a shopaholic bubblehead, so everyone blamed the bread shortage on Marie, on her husband, and on the whole unfair government.

rat stewWhy all the fuss over bread?
Bread was the main staple of the French diet. The average French person ate two pounds of bread a day! Without bread, the poor were forced to eat street rats (which didn’t taste like chicken). Wouldn’t you get a bit grumpy if you had to eat rat stew every night for dinner?

During France’s food shortage, Marie cut back on her expenses, removed the gambling tables from her drawing room, wore simpler clothes, and took an interest in politics. Marie grew up. So could she really have been cruel enough to tell the poor to eat cake? Read the book to find out just how hard it is to kill a rumor >>



The angry fishwives

Marie was nicknamed Madame Deficit and at one point had an angry crowd of fishwives try to rip her to shreds. You didn’t want to mess with the fishwives. They screamed loudly, smelled like eel, and were strong enough to hack up fish.

Madame Scapegoat
25% of France's budget was spent on merely maintaining the opulence of Versailles. Marie's spending certainly didn't help but it was not the cause of the country's deficit.

Ode to the Poof
Read more about Marie's infamous hair>>>

Hairy Scary Rumor
Did Marie hair turn white overnight? Find out at the Raucous Royals Blog>>
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