Marie Antoinette's Cake: Post-Truth in the French Revolution

Variant title

La brioche di Maria Antonietta. La Post-verità nella rivoluzione francese 


It has long been established that the famous phrase “S’ils n’ont plus de pain, qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette in response to growing concerns about the shortage of bread in Paris on the eve of the French Revolution, is what today we would call a fake news, probably released for political purposes. The socalled post-truth society, where the diffusion of false rumors and news or shamelessly partisan conceptions prevails over real and verifiable facts, is not an invention of the 21st century, nor is it linked, as it is often stated, to the rise of the Internet and social media. This essay aims to demonstrate that pre-revolutionary French society was already a mature and complete post-truth society, and that this phenomenon was exacerbated during the Revolution.




Italian (it)


Roberto PauraUniversità degli Studi di Perugia


Orbis Idearum Volume 5, Issue 1 (2017), pp. 69-84
Regular Issue