Let Them Eat Cakes!

According to Alexander Dumas plates are a recent invention. The author of The Three Musketeers points out that the French noun plate (assiette) and the French verb to sit (s’asseoir) are close cognates; and for a good reason, since in the past plates marked one’s place at the table. Often a slice of bread was used for that purpose. Food would be placed on such round slices; and after the meal this bread would be given to the poor. All this happened during the Middle Ages. As for the famous sentence infuriating the hungry Parisian mob, most of the historians agree that Marie-Antoinette never suggested anything as amusing.

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