Marie Antoinette would tell you
Meet the biggest queen ever
Learn, Discuss, and be entertained
Upcoming venues where Vinny is scheduled to speak about The Austrian Woman. Vinny is eager to talk about his favorite person, Marie Antoinette. Find out how to invite him to your organization.
January 25 - March 1, 2018
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
37-500 Cook Street
Palm Desert, CA 92211
Time: 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
This is a class that meets every Thursday for 6 weeks.
Tolerance Education Center
35147 Landy Lane
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
February 14, 2018
Time: 12 Noon
Cafe Europa Club
March 19, 2018
Palm Desert Public Library
Author Talk Series
73-300 Fred Waring Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Time: 4:00 pm
Admission is FREE.
May 24, 2018
Salon for the Parched
1611 South Calle Palo Fierro
Palm Springs, CA 92264
Time: 6:30 pm
Tickets are required.
Take A Peek At A Page
A SICKLY WOMAN OF NEARLY THIRTY-EIGHT STANDS
in a prison cell as a rat scurries past her feet. She seems immune to the droning of the courtroom bureaucrats. She faintly comprehends they speak of her just punishment. What do these ruffians know of justice? In the next moment, she is jerked alert with fear. Her linen bonnet is yanked off her head as her neatly arranged hair is brusquely chopped off at the neckline. Against her useless protests, the executioner binds her hands behind her back. Tears trickle down her cheeks as she is led out of the prison to a waiting wagon. She sits on a plank of rough wood for a jolting ride to the place of execution. Floating in and out of her jumbled thoughts, she remains keenly conscious of each sound. She is lulled by the clicking cart wheels on the cobblestones as she oddly recalls a fun-loving girl of six, playing with her toy collection of Noah, his ark, and traveling companions. My God, what ever happened to that once carefree child? How did she, the radiant Queen of France, end up in a dung cart on her way to execution? She knows that she is reviled by the multitude lining the streets. She still wonders what she has done to make them hate her so fervently. Most onlookers peering through the unbroken line of troops are shocked into silence, glimpsing this once mighty monarch reduced to a haggard woman. She struggles to piece together the words rising from thousands thronging the route. At last she comprehends the repeated phrase. It clings to her fleeting moments like a trembling child to its mother. "Et volia l'Autrichienne! - Look, there goes the Austrian Woman."
Vinny Stoppia, a native from the Big Apple, survived and thrived through sixteen years of parochial education. He worked for twenty-three years at the United Nations Headquarters observing the political luminaries of the Cold War Era.
For more than fifty years, Vinny gobbled up anything about eighteenth century France - in particular, the singular Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. His narrative about the life of this lightning-rod monarch, The Austrian Woman, is the culmination of a life long passion to recall her story.
Vinny moved to Palm Springs, California in 1993. In his free time, Vinny enriches his life by volunteering for several organizations. He has scant time to misbehave in the desert paradise because his dog, Teddy, keeps him on a tight leash.
A Day in Her Life in May
May 5, 1789
Amidst one last magnificent gasp of royal splendor, The Estates General opens its proceedings at Versailles.
May 6, 1758
Maximilien Robespierre is born. A natty dresser and prig divine, his ultimate legacy would be as the mastermind for the Reign of Terror.
May 7, 1770
Marie Antoinette is stripped naked and redressed in Parisian finery as she is transferred from Austrian to French hands on a small island in the Rhine.
May 10, 1774
King Louis XV, pustulant, swollen, and the color of copper, dies of smallpox at the age of 64. He will not be missed.
May 10, 1794
Madame Elisabeth, virtuous sister of Louis XVI is beheaded. Even Robespierre is uncomfortable with this execution, fearing a popular uproar. In 1924, the Catholic Church begins her case for beatification as a saint.
May 12, 1776
Finance Minister Turgot is forced to resign his post, sabotaging his plans at humbling the privileged elite and revamping the byzantine tax system.
May 15, 1832
Madame Tourzel dies; she was the last governess of Marie Antoinette’s children. Her unshakeable loyalty to the royal family is legendary. Miraculously, she escaped the guillotine and wrote her significant memoirs in old age.
May 16, 1770
Marie Antoinette and the French heir, Louis Auguste, are married in the chapel at Versailles, followed by a wedding reception in the newly built opera house hosting more than five thousand guests.
May 20, 1834
General Lafayette dies in Paris. Brave participant of the American Revolution, the once idolized hero becomes distrusted by all sides in the French Revolution. Several times during French history he was de-facto head of state but never sought to become a dictator.
May 31, 1786
Cardinal Rohan is declared innocent by the Paris Parlement in the trial of the century, The Affair of the Diamond Necklace; Marie Antoinette recoils in horror as the public considers her to be the guilty party.