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The phrase could also have come from one of the ladies in the royal court, but again, since the book was published 23 years before the French Revolution, that seems unlikely.
Indeed, Louis XVIII, in a memoir he penned in 1791, related the story of Marie-Thérèse saying this. France’s continued financial problems at this time when she was at the helm, also did nothing to bolster her popularity with the people, who blamed her for these problems, despite the fact that she had little to do with it, and lacked the power to fix it. The story about cakes is probably from countess Czernin, who in time of hunger plague let to make for her booties of bread and since haunted in Czernin palais in Prag, where is now czech ministry of outland affairs (sorry for my english). At the time, Marie Antoinette was only 10 years old and living in Austria. More than that, Rousseau mentioned this same phrase in a letter written 18 years before Marie-Antoinette was even born. Sunshine Yellow and Sky Blue | Canvas Print, 126+ French Dog Names: The perfect name for your pooch, Palais de l’Elysée: French Presidents and questionable decor choices, France’s Assemblée Nationale: Democracy at Palais Bourbon, 21 French inspirational quotes: Motivate yourself every day, The French Woman: Style tips for visiting Paris. Indeed, he rarely ever spoke to her about matters of state, fearing she might attempt to use this information to Austria’s advantage. As to the origin of the expression, two notable contemporaries of Marie-Antoinette - Louis XVIII and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, attribute the phrase to a source other than her. ☞ READ MORE: French Revolutionary Calendar: When France tried to change time. In addition to this, she had no real political power for most of her time as queen, as her husband tended to rebuff any suggestion she made due to the fact that she was Austrian and he was raised to distrust Austrians as much as the people of France did. I was told when I was much younger that the expression “let them eat cake ment the cake that was referred to was the bread dough used in ovens was to keep the oven temperature more constant. Today there is no officially acknowledged basis for attributing “Let them eat cake” to Marie Antoinette. She established a home for unwed mothers, contributed to a Charity for the aged, and made frequent visits to poor families.
(Why don't they eat pastry?) The expression itself, “let them eat cake”, was relatively well known amongst many of the revolutionists, and they used it to personify the disconnect between the aristocracy and the general public at this time. They seem to be above all the minutiae of the problems that go on daily, and therefore, do nothing to help in a crisis. The phrase “Let them eat cake” lives in infamy as the privileged retort from Marie Antoinette when she was informed the peasant populace was starving with no bread to eat. I understand the feelings of the French public of that era, but I still feel bad. My opinion is the Nazi bastards that don’t know to call it quits.