The real reason I’ve stopped reading Les Mis is because Marius is so awkward I’m getting secondhand embarrassment.
unlike that amazing and noble marie antoinette, who wrote to her relatives asking them to invade france and restore the monarchy. what a great person, fighting for the noble cause of being designated better and more valuable as a person by doing nothing but being born into the right family.
French male revolutionary vest, 1789-94.
At first glance this looks like a knitted garment. But it’s made of linen canvas with silk needlepoint (petit-point) embroidery and warp cut-pile trim.
The book “Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915” describes some of the symbolism behind the vest:
- The vest is held in red, blue and white – the tricolore, the preferred colour combo of those supporting the French revolution.
- The similarity to knitted garments might have been on purpose. The “tricoteuses”, the female professional knitters of Paris, were definite supporters of the revolution, hoping for better wages and a better life.
- The collar has a caterpillar and a butterfly. Dressing “en chenille” (as a caterpillar) was slang for casual dress, informal dress. The butterfly – what the caterpillar would have metamorphosed into – has gotten its wings cut off. This is a symbol of the butterfly sacrificing its finery and vanity.
- On the right pocket lapels it’s written “L’habit ne fait pas le moine” (The habit does not make the monk, I.E. “Do not judge the book by its cover”). The left pocket lapel says “Honi soit mal y pense” (shame on those who thinks evil of it).
As the authors of “Fashioning Fashion” writes: “Though he declared himself to be a mere caterpillar, the wearer of this extraordinary garment clearly retained some of his butterfly’s panache. Obviously, a great deal of time and thought went into the creation of this vest; it’s difficult to believe that the wearer was wholly indifferent to fashion and finery. Flaunting his Revolutionary colours while protesting that clothes doesn’t make the man, he wore his politics on his sleeve even as he distanced himself from them”
#this vest screams “not all bourgeois” (via cidre-de-glace)
While also sporting the motto of the British Order of the Garter. HMMMMMM.
Well, yes, if you consider the wearer to be a supporter of constitutional monarchy in 1791-92.You should take a look at this article which questioned Fashioning Fashion’s interpretation.
Edit; I started thinking back about the fact that the inside of this vest is green and maybe the wearer really was an obnoxious die-hard ancien régime guy. A kind of wolf in sheep’s clothing (l’habit ne fait pas le moine…).
Oh wow, thank you for linking that interesting article! I admit I’ve only half-read it and need to go back, but–yeah, my instinct on this waistcoat is that it’s the ancien régime joking about how it has to dress the part of a good revolutionary.
FloRéal: They’re worth it!
Hello Grantaire tag friends :3 I am here to introduce to you a new ship, see what you think!
Grantaire has a canonical female friend
(She’s a possible ex-lover too, depending on how you read the text, but I’ll get to that!)
She only gets a couple of lines of mention, but we learn some super interesting details about her life, and there are enough clues that we can draw some intriguing inferences about both her character and her relationship with Grantaire. I’m not sure why she’s been so overlooked in fandom (especially compared to e.g. Musichetta), maybe because she’s only mentioned Grantaire’s huge long Preliminary Gaieties ramble which is so willfully obfuscating that it’s tempting to skim? I’m not sure! But here are some facts about her
– She is a young working class woman who works as a button-stitcher and is an archetypal ‘grisette’ – here are some quotes from wiki:
The word grisette (sometimes spelled grizette) has referred to a French working-class woman from the late 17th century and remained in common use through the Belle Époque era, albeit with some modifications to its meaning.
n practice, “young working woman” referred primarily to those employed in the garment and millinery trades as seamstresses or shop assistants, the few occupations open to them in 19th century urban France, apart from domestic service. The sexual connotations which had long accompanied the word are made explicit in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1976) which lists one of its meanings as a young woman who combines part-time prostitution with another occupation.
In the first quarter of the 19th century, Grisette also came to refer more specifically to the independent young women, often working as seamstresses or milliner’s assistants, who frequented bohemian artistic and cultural venues in Paris. They formed relationships with artists and poets more committed than prostitution but less so than a mistress. Many grisettes worked as artist’s models, often providing sexual favours to the artists in addition to posing for them. During the time of King Louis-Philippe they came to dominate the bohemian modelling scene. Although the grisette models were perceived to be adventurous, independent, and living only for moment, they sought not only economic support, but also emotional and artistic support in their relationships with bohemian men.
– She is a canonical friend of Grantaire, and they are on intimate enough terms that she feels comfortable spilling deets to him about her sexual conquest when they bump into each other on barricade morning.
– It’s possible – perhaps likely – that Grantaire and Floréal were lovers at some point. As mentioned above, the relationships between Bohemian young men (artists, poets, dreamers, loungers, flaneurs) and grisettes were usually presented as romantic/sexual in nineteenth century literature – but on a casual basis, ‘more committed than prostitution but less so than a mistress’ as described above. The relationships between Fantine, Zephine, Favourite and Dahlia and Tholomyes, Listolier, Fameuil and Blachevelle are textbook examples of this! The boys romanced them for a summer, and were literally gone ‘when autumn came’ and it was time to get back to their real, bougie lives (and they were utterly explicit about that, too). So, just going by literary tradition/cultural stereotypes, it would be perfectly inkeeping for grantaire to have had previous romantic/sexual history with his grisette friend(s) – PLUS, he’s canonically very familiar with the layout of her bedroom (he mentions her campbed and the flower-pot on her window sill) – PLUS, like, dude’s kind of overinvested in her love-life? But there’s still enough ambiguity that you can hc them as just fronds if that’s your jam :).
– Grantaire bumps into her while wandering miserably around Paris on barricade morning (literally in the dark and in the rain; it’s implied he’s been up for hours ‘waiting for the dawn’ and oh god Preliminary Gaieties is such an important chapter for Grantaire characterisation? Go read, if you haven’t!) Here’s what he actually says about their meeting:
Just now in the Rue Richelieu I passed by the great public library. (…) And then, I met a pretty girl whom I knew, beautiful as spring, worthy to be called Floréal, and delighted, transported, happy, in seventh heaven, the poor creature, because yesterday a hideous banker pitted with smallpox deigned to fancy her. Alas! Woman watches the publican no less than the fop; cats chase mice as well as birds. This damsel, less than two months ago, was a good girl in a garret, she attached the little copper rings in the eyelets of corsets, how do you say it? She sewed, she had a cot, she lived beside a flowerpot. Now she is a bankeress. This transformation was wrought last night. I met the victim this morning, full of joy. The hideous part of it is that the wench was just as pretty today as yesterday. Her financier didn’t appear on her face. Roses have this much more or less than women, that the traces pests leave on them are visible. Ah! There’s no morality on earth:
Tl:dr, they bump into each other, she tells him excitedly about her previous night’s hookup with a banker and he gets extremely grumpy and full of feels. A couple of things to note here:
i. I’m pretty sure that she is neither married nor engaged to the banker – grisettes just didn’t marry their wealthy suitors, it’s kind of their whole deal as literary archetypes – they are defined by their position as not-quite-mistresses (and, uh, yeah, there are many problematic aspects to the way grisettes were portrayed by nineteenth century male authors but that’s a whole other sidetrack) – but regardless; Grantaire’s use of ‘bankress’ to describe her is almost certainly (well, imo) tongue in cheek – she wouldn’t be walking home from his place in the wee hours of the morning if they’d been married the previous night, and again engagements between bankers and grisettes just.. didn’t happen, that variety of social mobility wasn’t on the cards for working-class young women. Floréal is excited because the potential to be ‘kept woman’ to the banker is likely to bring her a certain amount of financial benefit/stability, and more comfort etc in her daily life – but this position is precarious, almost certainly temporary, and carries the potential for Fantine-level disgrace and social fallout if she happened to get pregnant during their courtship. This is, in part, why Grantaire is so incredibly buttmad – he initially makes a few puerile jokes at Floréal’s expense (oh god, there’s this amazingly convoluted pun about lilies of the valley and thrush, we did meta so much meta~), but quickly turns his ire to the banker himself, labelling him an ‘eagle’ (who preys on gisettes), and basically using his Banker Feels as a springboard into this amazing rant about (among other things oh man its such a great rant) humanity’s natural inclinations to fuck one another over, whether in ‘love’ or in war or just in day to day society in general and basically he’s really really upset that the banker is likely to utterly exploit Floréal?
ii. She’s probably not really called Floréal lol – when he says she’s so pretty she’s ‘worthy to be called Floréal’, he’s literally comparing her to a spring day – Floréal was one of the spring months in the Revolutionary calendar – at most it would be likely to be a nickname between the two? That seems to be the general fanon – it’s as close to a name (or nickname) as we’ve got for her!
SPEAKING OF FANON, I’m gonna share a couple of bits and pieces (and links to fics and stuff) beneath the cut.. we were a really teeny fandom for a long time, some of it was kind of mutually dreamt up? But, like, two things first:
i. We have a community, Irma-Floréal, and some day I’m gonna get my butt together and start posting meta/fic/arts prompts and contests and shiz :3
ii. Please post headcanons/fanworks/meta under the floréal tag, we’re such a small community right now we kind of need all the thoughts/feels sharing we can get? The ‘floreal’ tag is more noisy with random fashion stuff, but floréal is all ours :3
23. Last kiss
are you sure this is a good idea anon
Yesterday Enjolras would have been angry to find Grantaire
in a drunken stupor on the wine shop floor. Today, he has seen enough of death that
its gentler sister sleep is a relief.
“You shouldn’t have come here,” he tells Grantaire’s
sleeping form. “I told you to go home. There was no need for you to die.” He
feels every coming death as a weight on his heart, but at least he knows the
rest of his friends will die fighting for their beliefs. They will have that
satisfaction at least. Grantaire will die fighting for nothing. Enjolras would
have spared him that, if he could.
Grantaire almost looks like a corpse now; only a slight rise
and fall of his chest betrays that he lives. He looks peaceful and still,
silent as he never is in waking life. Perhaps the Guard will mistake him for
yet another dead body when they find him. Perhaps-
Enjolras looks around the room and finds a corner where the
light doesn’t reach. There is a table there, and chairs, though he can hardly
see them in the dim light. He hooks his arms under Grantaire’s and drags him
across the floor, wincing at every bump along the way. Grantaire doesn’t wake,
dead to the world in every way but the one that counts. Enjolras both envies
and pities him.
When Grantaire is propped up on the chair and slumped over
the table, he looks like a man who has been shot down while drinking. Enjolras
thinks with satisfaction that he may not be seen at all, and places a few
bottles in front of him to obscure him further.
This will likely be the last time he ever sees Grantaire.
Even if Grantaire should survive against all odds, Enjolras will not. He
wonders for a moment what he would say to Grantaire if he were awake. Perhaps
it’s for the best he’s asleep.
He bends down and brushes a farewell kiss across Grantaire’s
lips, soft as a whisper. It’s the first such kiss he’s ever given, and doubtless
the last as well. Another thing he must choose not to regret. “Sleep, my
friend, and live.”
The 221 made Louis Philippe King. Lafayette undertook the coronation.
He called it the best of republics.
I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY SINCE COMMENTS ARE NOW GONE
Feel free to reblog one of my posts with your comment!! I don’t mind!
And feel free to reblog this if you are okay with this too,
so I can get a mind of who I can do this to and whatnot!!
(Tbh this is just gonna be me going “AWWWW” at this story.)
So I mentioned Victor Hugo’s short story Claude Gueux in my Clairvaux post (link). I didn’t want to go on a tangent there so I’ll talk about it more here.
Apparently Claude Gueux was a real person, although his story was a bit different from Hugo’s description. Hugo emphasized his righteousness and played down everything that might have made him look bad. Also Hugo seems to have erased the homosexual aspects of the true story, but I think you can see the…. traces there if you remove his insistence that they were more like “a father and a son” to each other because one seemed old for his age and the other young for his age.
So basically this story is about two prisoners in Clairvaux being friends. (Although really it’s about how society creates criminals and then makes it worse by putting them in prisons, because this is Hugo; OF COURSE THAT’S WHAT IT’S ABOUT. But whatever, if you want that stuff, go read the thing. I’m just gonna gush about my new ship.)
They worked in the same workshop, they slept under the same keystone, they walked in the same courtyard, they ate the same bread. Each of the two friends meant the world for the other. It seemed that they were happy.
^ (That’s my translation too, btw. I still don’t like how the existing translation cuts stuff out.)
(Spoiler warning for the next, I guess?)
— Monsieur, resumed Claude, is it true that Albin has been moved to another quarter?
— Yes, answered the director.
— Monsieur, continued Claude, I cannot live without Albin.
^ Shamelessly taking this out of context… 0:D (Although honestly the context doesn’t even change implications much…)
(Even worse spoilers)
The bailiff called the convict Albin. It was his turn to give his account. He came in trembling. He sobbed. The gendarmes couldn’t stop him from falling into Claude’s arms. Claude held him and said, smiling to the royal prosecutor: — Here is an evildoer who shares his bread with those who are hungry. — Then he kissed Albin’s hand.
^ No comment except BRB CRYING FOREVER. Omg don’t read this story after all, it’s super upsetting.
… Sorry, I just have this thing where if you give me even the hint of homoromanticism, especially in an older story, I WILL PURSUE IT.
Seriously though, if Hugo’s point was to remove the gay, he definitely didn’t try all that hard. (Okay fine, I get it that it was a different period and different (probably healthier) standards for male friendships and all that but let me have my fun.)
Basically, though, it refers to this passage:
“Laigle de Meaux, we know, lived more with Joly than elsewhere. He had a lodging as the bird has a branch. The two friends lived together, ate together, slept together. Everything was in common with them, even Musichetta a little. They were what, among the Chapeau Brothers, are called bini.”
(French: “Laigle de Meaux, on le sait, demeurait plutôt chez Joly qu’ailleurs. Il avait un logis comme l’oiseau a une branche. Les deux amis vivaient ensemble, mangeaient ensemble, dormaient ensemble. Tout leur était commun, même un peu Musichetta. Ils étaient ce que chez les frères chapeaux, on appelle bini.”)
It refers to a convention of certain orders of monks where they are paired up with another monk with whom they work, travel and share everything.