The Affair of the Diamond Necklace

Countess Elizabeth Báthory

Come celebrate the big 3-0 with a con for the ages as Jeanne de Valois will try to get her hands on a 2 million livre necklace, and end up implicating — and slandering — one of the world’s most famous and powerful monarchies.

Featured image: A reproduction of the necklace alongside a portrait of Marie Antoinette in one of her elaborate outfits. (Image source)

A reproduction of the infamous necklace. (Image source)

A portrait of Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Rémy, painted around 1780. (Image source)

A portrait of Nicole d’Oliva, the Marie Antoinette impersonator. (Image source)

A portrait of Marie Antoinette painted in 1775, showing off that scandalously extravagant fashion. I recommend picking up a copy of Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution if you’d like to know more about Marie’s style. (Image source)

A portrait of Louis René Édouard, cardinal de Rohan. (Image source)

An illustration of the prison break of Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Rémy. (Image source)

A fictionalized portrayal of the affair is a plot element of The Rose of Versailles, a manga and anime about the French court. In this version, “Jeanne Valois de la Motte” is raised in a poor neighborhood but attains the nobility. In the story, Marie Antoinette not only knows her but gives her money–but this isn’t enough to satisfy her greed. Her ultimate ambition is to become Queen of France, which seems unlikely, but okay! Also in this version Nicole d’Olivia is blind, for reasons that I guess make sense in context, and Jeanne attempts to murder her. (Image source)

Hillary Swank as Jeanne wearing the necklace in 2001’s The Affair of the Necklace. This is the closest I could get to finding a picture demonstrating how HUGE this necklace actually is. (Image source)

A room decorated in the rococo style. This is the “Golden Dinnerware Room” in the King’s private quarters at Versailles. The style was characterized by elaborate, twisting ornamentation that suggested movement. Some find it beautiful–but in a desperate era for France, living in rooms decorated like this while the commoners were starving wasn’t a great call for the nobility. (Image source)

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Countess Elizabeth Báthory

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