6/21/1791, the flight to Varennes

I remembered this story during a very pleasant country-side bike-ride yesterday evening. 214 years ago, Louis XVI and his misguided Queen Marie Antoinette decided that the longest day of the year would be a good time to try to escape unnoticed from Paris and travel 200 miles by coach toward the French border. Unfortunately, they were recognized along the way and captured in the town of Varennes. The ill-conceived "Flight to Varennes" pretty much sealed the fate of the king & his family (they were guillotined in 1793 after being incarcerated and "tried" following their capture). I get much of my recollection of this tale from an excellent book called The Fatal Friendship: Marie Antoinette, Count Fersen and the Flight to Varennes, by Stanley Loomis, published by Doubleday in 1972. Also a few things online refreshed my memory:

  1. from "The History Guide," an extract from Louis XVI's "Declaration of the King Addressed to All the French About His Flight from Paris"

  2. Also from "The History Guide," the "flight" described in context of the revolution

  3. excerpt from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

And I want to finally find a copy of a movie made in 1982 called "La Nuit de Varennes," in which Marcello Mastroianni plays Casanova in a coach also heading toward Varennes. C'mon Netflix!

No comments: