It is almost Bastille Day –“the ever-glorious fourteenth of July,” to quote a certain Marguerite Blakeney (1934 movie). Oh yes, m’dears… there is a Scarlet Pimpernel geek-nerd in your midst! (For those not familiar with him, he is an English nobleman who rescues innocent French aristocrats from the dreaded fate of Madame Guillotine!)
In short, Bastille Day coincides with the day when the people of Paris stormed the prison on July 14th, 1789, but was chosen to commemorate the Fête de la Fédération instead –the short-lived establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France –and what was supposedly the ‘happy ending’ of the French Revolution.
History lesson aside, L’Occitane is celebrating this day with an offer of a free gift and one of their famed treatments, if you show them this email (I’m showing you the picture that was in the email), but I’m sure there are other specials –perhaps the very same ones– to be had even if you haven’t signed up for their newsletter yet!
I’ll admit to having had a bit of a ‘moral dilemma’. I had just come out of reading Eldorado when this popped into my inbox, and I sat there wondering, “Well, would Sir Percy go? After what they did to little Louis Capet?”… I told you I was a bit of an obsessive about the Scarlet Pimpernel! 😛
I almost decided that I hated the holiday, until I remembered that both sides suffered in the Revolution, and of course, Baroness Orczy had her biases when telling those wonderful swashbuckling tales. So in honour of both aristos and commoners who did not deserve whatever unhappy fates they met, I wish every Frenchman a very happy and peaceful Bastille Day, and Vive la France!!
All that said, I am going to try and catch this event on its last day tomorrow, and add A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens to my reading list. It’s a novel that is set before and during the Revolution, but as seen through the eyes of the peasantry and middle-class people. I’ve always wanted to read it, and I think now is a good idea, since I sorely need some balance and perspective in my views!
Happy Bastille Day!!!
— Miss Cathie
P.S. Update: I did go! And here is the loot. My favourite are the soap bars, the ultra rich shower cream, and the Verveine eau de toilette… is it ever a fresh scent!!