Let them eat cake

History of Sorts

“Let them eat cake” is the most famous quote credited to Marie-Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution. Legend has it, it was the queen’s response after being told that her starving peasant subjects had no bread.

“Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, said to have been spoken in the 17th or 18th century by “a great princess” The French phrase mentions brioche, a bread enriched with butter and eggs, considered a luxury food. The quote is taken to reflect either the princess’s frivolous disregard for the starving peasants or her poor understanding of their plight.

While the phrase is commonly attributed to Marie Antoinette, there are references to it prior to the French Revolution, meaning that it is impossible for the quote to have originated from Antoinette, and it is unlikely it was ever spoken by…

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