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...

TIMELINE

PRISON BREAK

14 JULY 1789

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

FÊTE DE LA FÉDERATION

14 JULY 1790

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

MERCY MISSION

14 JULY 1802

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

HOLIDAY SEASON

1880

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

MARCH ON

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

UNDER OCCUPATION

1940-1944

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

UNLEASH THE LASERS

14 JULY 1979

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

ON TOP OF THE WORLD

14 JULY 1998

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

ADDRESS THE NATION

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
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us