“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve found myself in full pursuit of one thing or another. I chased the dogs and cats around the yard along with my imaginary friend. As an aspiring fashionista in my early twenties, I chased a flowing silk chiffon dress from the runway of the Dallas fashion market to the designer’s own hands.
After years of chasing a career in elementary education, and not finding the fulfillment I expected, I happened upon another area of study that took my breath away. The history of eighteenth century France with its gilded chateaux, fairytale hamlets; the excess, drama, and tragedy; the enlightened ideals and charismatic characters all sent me into a daydream that I hoped would never end. Like all chases that have come before, there was that initial spark. That spark came in the form of the last true Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. From loved and cherished princess to detested queen, I found her life had more meaning than history has often given her credit for.
She’s the one I chase and will most likely always chase. She’s the one I’ve come closest to catching. A private tour of her theater at the Petit Trianon revealed more than I’ve ever dreamed of seeing. Weaving in and out of the stage sets, gliding my hands along an eighteenth century canvas of a forest scene, I imagined her there.
Every visit ends more spectacularly than the one before due to an amazing stroke of luck or grace from forces unknown. A chance friendship with a Versailles gilder provided the opportunity to see a room offset from the chapel that had remained as it was left in 1789. Behind a false door at the Trianon, I had the chance to view a sketch from an unknown artist rarely seen since the revolution. Hence, the thrill and wonder of a private tour of Versailles.” Belle Inspiration Magazine
What started out as a simple curiosity on the legendary doomed Queen, Marie Antoinette, turned into a full blown crush about all things French history. From the gilded palace of Versailles, to the last remaining “folie d’amour” (pleasure house of the 18th century) she chases her passion of French history.
When not chasing French history, you can find Elissa with her Canon 7D and her Coast Guard chef husband meandering the coastal shores of the East and West coasts of the USA.