This, Madame, is Versailles
"We are not makers of history. We are made by history." - Martin Luther King, Jr.


Audrey Hepburn 

I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”  Audrey Hepburn 



St. Petersburg, The Ferry Across the River, 1870.

Ivan Aivazovsky


Paintings by Stefan Peters


Katy Moran. Wasabi Without Tears, 2007. Acrylic on canvas, 15 x 18”.


The Penitent Magdalene by Guido Reni, c. 1635 (detail)

Sep 9, 2014 · 364 via: sollertias · origin: sollertias

Rich archaeological finds in Burdąg



Archaeologists discovered nearly 100 cremation graves on the surface of just 100 square meters. during excavations in Burdąg (Warmia and Mazury) - told PAP Dr. Mirosław Rudnicki from the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Łódź.

The large number of finds surprised the scientists. They included bronze and silver ornaments, costume pieces, such as fibulas, pendants, rings, beads, buckles and belt fittings. The largest group of objects, as in the case of most archaeological sites in Poland, were ceramics. Archaeologists discovered numerous vessels in various states of preservation, including many very elaborately ornamented vessels, which, according to Dr. Rudnicki, distinguishes them from the products of the surrounding cultures in this period, both Slavic and Baltic. All items come from the VI-VII century AD. Read more.


Portrait of Anne Wortley, Later Lady Morton, 1620. Detail.


Women from the 14th century {1/?} → ♛ Margaret of Burgundy (1290-1315), Queen of France and Navarre

Margaret was born in 1290, the eldest daughter of Agnes of France and Robert II and a princess of the ducal House of Burgundy. By her mother, she was also a granddaughter of Saint Louis. As for many women of that period, little is known about her childhood.

Margaret married her first cousin once removed, Louis I, King of Navarre and heir to the French throne in 1305. Louis was nicknamed “le Hutin“(Louis the Quarreler or Louis the Stubborn) by his contemporaries. Their marriage was seemingly a cold and unhappy one, as Louis preferred to play real tennis than to spend time with his young wife. They did produce a child, a daughter named Joan.

In 1313, King Edward II and Queen Isabella came to France to visit the queen’s father, Philip the Fair. Isabella offered embroidered purses to her sisters-in-law Margaret and Blanche. Those purses would be the trigger of a scandal with lasting consequence for the Capetian dynasty.

Indeed, later this year, Isabella allegedly noticed that two Norman knights, the brothers Gautier and Philippe d’Aunay were wearing the purses she had given her sisters-in-law. She would have concluded that the princesses must have been carrying on an illicit affair with them. When she visited Paris again in 1314, she informed King Philip about her suspicions. The king placed the knights under surveillance for a time and Margaret and Blanche were soon accused of adultery.

After being subjected to torture, Gautier and Philippe confessed to have carried an affair with the princesses, an affair that lasted for three years and mostly took place at the Nesle tower. The two knights were publicly castrated and drawn and quartered or flayed alive, broken on a wheel and hanged. Margaret and Blanche had their heads shaven and were sentenced to life imprisonment at Château Gaillard.

They spent the next years in harsh living conditions. When her father-in-law died on November 29 1314, Margaret became the queen of France, but it changed little to her conditions of detention. The Queen of France and Navarre spent another year in the fortress before her death, on 30 april 1315. She may have died of tuberculosis or of another lung disease caused by her constant exposure to cold and her lack of proper food. Historians have also suggested that she may have been murdered in jail. Indeed, she died only a couple of weeks after the arrival in France of Clementia of Hungary, the women that Louis le Hutin had chosen as his new wife. They married shortly after Margaret’s death.

Margaret’s daughter Joan became queen of Navarre in 1328, but she never accessed the French throne, mainly because of the suspicions of illegitimacy that weighed on her for her whole life.

Margaret was immortalized in Maurice Druon’s famous books serie Les Rois Maudits. The second book of the serie, La Reine Étranglée (the strangled queen) was named after her.

(Special thank to ladyjanerochford for her proofreading!)


The Ladies in Waiting to the House of Romanov

The ladies in waiting of the Russian Imperial Court held almost as splendorous and powerful positions as their imperial mistresses.
From a young age, girls of the nobility and the daughters of government advisors were sent to the Smolny Institue, founded by Catherine the Great, where they would be taught proper graces and ettiquette required of their position; and for the prospect of becoming a companion of sorts to a future Grand Duchess or Empress. The guidelines to the Lady’s fashions and social movements were extremely strict; each had permission to only wear particular colours at court. Oddly enough, the hierarchy of the Mistress’ Household was of German origins. Most ladies in waiting recieved the Order of St. Catherine (consisting of a red sash and miniature of Catherine II). Their positions rarely entailed daily service at Court, and by 1914, they were mostly honorific with attendance only on great occasions.

The Fraülein rank was the most common, in 1881 there were 189 serving the Imperial Family, and in 1914, there were 261. A Fraülein or a Kammer-Fraülein were unmarried young women, who upon their marriage would have to leave court. Being a Fraülein gave the right to the lady to wear white and red at Court events.The highest of the positions, the Hofmeisterin, ruled over all over ladies. They served the Empress and Grand Duchesses personally, and were in charge of introductions to the women invited to Court. Because of their high positions in nobility, these Ladies were entitled to the form of address Your High Excellency. 
During the official ceremonies, the ladies-in-waiting had to wear specific Court dresses according to a regulation of 1834 fixing the clothing, the manner and the colors allowed for each one. A HofmeisterinStatsdame or Kammer-Fraülein wore a miniature portrait of the Empress on their right shoulder and were called dames à portrait, one of the most prestigious positions at Court. After they left active service, they would wear it on their left shoulder. The Fraülein would only wear the Empress or Grand Duchess’ initials in diamonds, pinned to their left shoulder. [source / source ]

Middle cypher is that of the Empress Catherine II

Admont Abbey Library, Austria

UNDER: gimme
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