A Day in Her Life in July


July 2, 1747

Rose Bertin is born. She establishes herself as the template for all future fashion designers. She meets Marie Antoinette in 1774 and becomes an indispensable party in branding the queen’s wardrobe choices. The press dubs Bertin as “The Minister of Fashion.”


July 2, 1778

Jean-Jacques Rousseau dies at Ermenonville (just north of Paris) at age 66. A visit to his grave becomes a de rigueur pilgrimage for a multitude of admirers. Although Swiss by birth, he was a Francophone at heart. He advocated making government responsible to the will of the people. No one had more influence on the French revolutionaries than Rousseau.


July 13, 1793

Jean Paul Marat, rat extraordinaire and Grand Seigneur of the sewer set, is stabbed to death in his tub by Charlotte Corday, a young, idealistic foe.


July 14, 1789

The Bastille falls to rioters who slaughter the prison governor, Marquis Launay, whose earlier appeal for reinforcements had been dismissed.


July 16, 1789

On orders of the king, prominent aristocrats hurriedly leave Versailles and rush for the border. Among them are Count Artois and his family, Reverend Vermond, and Yolande Polignac and her family. Marie Antoinette feels more vulnerable than ever.


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