Decipher the duchess. Part 1b

Here are some more clues to help you work out what the duchess was writing on 16 July 1789, during a significant phase of the early Revolution in the capital. Go to part 1 in the blog below for an introduction to this entry.

Line 1 begins: A Paris…

Line 2: J’[essai] Mde que ce petit papier vous passe…

Line 3: armées. Je ne sai point encore, de vos amis tués…

Line 4: bien, mais je ne sais si nous sommes…

Line 5: mais je sais que tout noble…

Line 6: ecrirai si le seigr

[Square brackets] indicate a questionable or assumed reading of the manuscript by the Project team.

This should give you more of an idea of the shape of the duchess’ handwriting. Use this as a template for unpicking other sections of the entry. We will provide a full transcription and English translation next week. In the meantime, happy deciphering!

2 thoughts on “Decipher the duchess. Part 1b

  1. Marie

    All right, I gave it my best shot:

    1 A Paris le 16 juillet 1789
    2 J’essai M[de] que ce petit papier vous passe. On juge qu’il y a dans Notre pays la ____ __
    3 armée, je ne sai point encore de vos amis tués. Le courage me soutiens quil jespere porte
    4 bien, mais je ne sais si nous sommes Anglais, ou _____, Car on porte les tetes dans les ____
    5 mais je sais que tout Noble est e_______ a Paris. Demandé pour nous une bonne fin; je vous
    6 ecrirai si le Seig[r] m’en procure un jour le moyen.

    The format is fascinating – I would love to find out more about why she chose to write letters that she knew she would never send.

    1. Alex Fairfax-Cholmeley Post author

      This is an impressive effort! You can check it against our team’s transcription (and translation) in part 3 of the ‘decipher the duchess’ series, which is available on the blog now. We will be reflecting on the format itself in due course.


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