We Nerdy History Girls are very partial to English humor, and when it's combined with history – whether Monty Python, Blackadder, or Horrible Histories – we're in laugh-riot heaven.
Recently I stumbled across a delicious series on YouTube staring the irrepressible Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, cutting a hilarious swath through the court at Versailles shortly before the French Revolution. Let Them Eat Cake features Saunders as the immorally dense Colombine, Comtesse de Vache, and French as her far more clever (but equally immoral) maid Lisette, with Adrian Scarborough as the comtesse's ever-conniving hairdresser, stylist, and confidante, Bouffant - an 18th c. caricature brought to life. The series is irreverent and bawdy, full of huge wigs and extravagant gowns, and skewed appearances by everyone from Madame Vigee-Lebrun to the Marquis de Sade.
This clip features a showdown between the comtesse and her arch-rival, Madame de Plonge, both armed with huge skirts and servants. Which one will be forced to reverse down the hall so the other may pass?
If you wish for more, the whole series is on YouTube (though unfortunately each episode is cut into three parts). Here are the three links to the first episode, called "The Pox": Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.