Crash course: France's Bastille Day

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Raise the Tricolore for France's most important public holiday - 'La Fête Nationale' - when all things Gallic are celebrated with a day off work. Quel dommage that it falls on a Sunday...



14 JULY 1789

A crowd storms the Bastille fortress, freeing political captives. The end of feudalism is not far behind


14 JULY 1790

A four-day feast in Paris celebrates the end of the absolute monarchy: partygoers even run naked in the streets


14 JULY 1802

Napoleon Bonaparte decides that the date should also be marked by an amnesty, and releases prisoners



Benjamin Raspail, a politician of the Third Republic, proposes that the nation should take the day off work. Of course!


14 JULY 1918

While the Great War rages on, military parades take to the Champs-Élysées for the first time, starting a tradition that endures



With the Nazis in control of Paris, the French national day is quietly forgotten for four years


14 JULY 1979

In the modern era, electro-pioneer Jean Michel Jarre plays to 1 million on the Place de la Concorde


14 JULY 1998

Two days after its football team triumphs in the World Cup, France has a double celebration


14 JULY 2012

François Hollande reinstates the Bastille Day presidential interview - previously scrapped by Sarkozy

Profile: The arch Francophile

By Anne Penketh

When poet Michael Edwards defeated five learned French rivals to become the first Englishman to join the prestigious Académie Française in February it was his last chance to become one of the "immortals" who are elected for life.

The Academy's 40 seats are reserved for those under 75, and Prof. Edwards was 74 when he inherited seat number 31. Now, he shares responsibility for the Academy's rulings on the French language which cause ripples across the land.

The Academy was founded in 1635, tasked with defending the purity of French and compiling the dictionary. It has just announced its annual literary prizes. But its main reputation derives from its linguistic diktats erecting a bulwark against the encroachment of English.

Is it fighting a losing battle? The Academy certainly hasn't thrown in the "serviette" when confronting the invasion of neologisms and anglicisms. Among its latest admonitions to practitioners of the French language: please don't say "l'easy listening", and don't say "le sport business".

How to: Make crêpes Suzette

By Sam Muston

Celebrate le quatorze Juillet with Brunot Loubet's recipe for crêpes Suzette with orange and cardamom. Abridged from Mange Tout, (Random House, £25)

First, make a simple crêpe batter. Then, in a small pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it turns a nutty brown ('beurre noisette'), remove from the heat and pour into the crêpe mixture. Whisk well. Leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes

Spread a thin layer of vegetable oil over the base of a large frying pan, then place it over a medium heat until hot. Pour a large spoonful of batter into the pan, swirling to spread the mixture evenly. Cook briefly and remove – repeat for as many crêpes as are required

Heat sugar in the same pan to make a caramel; add lemon, crushed cardamom and orange zest. Boil, add butter and Grand Marnier. Flambé the alcohol. Add four crêpes to the pan, coating them in the mixture. Spoon on the remaining sauce, add orange segments. Et voilà

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine