Category: Titillating Tidbits

Funny, sad and scandalous stories from the court of Louis XIV.

L’ordre du Saint-Esprit

The Ordre du Saint-Esprit – Order of the Holy Spirit – was the senior chivalric order of France. It was not the oldest one, but the most prestigious one and founded by Henri III inContinue reading

L’affaire de la garde corse

In August 1662, a little over a year after the death of Cardinal de Mazarin and Louis XIV taking things into his own hands, there was a bit of an incident between France and theContinue reading

Jeu de paume

You probably heard the expression that Tennis is the sport of Kings and that is quite true. The predecessor of what we call Tennis in English today is the French jeu de paume and theContinue reading

La Maison de la Reine

Louis XIV’s court, and the French court in general, had a lot of court offices for male beings… and not so many for females. The Queen’s of France did not get their own Households untilContinue reading

La Fontange

There were quite a few popular hairstyles at the court of the Sun King. In his youth it was all about curls and ringlets for the ladies, but later on, there was one particular hairstyleContinue reading

The baptism of Louis XIV

Louis XIV received a so-called ondoiement shortly after his birth. An emergency baptism, something administered to a person in danger of death, or small children after their birth to make sure, if they should passContinue reading

Les Filles du Roi

Nouvelle-France or New France, the area colonised by France in North America, was a place for adventures and in first mainly occupied by gentlemen, who weren’t always really gentlemen-like. New France was a place ofContinue reading

A 17th century Christmas….

Christmas, as we know it now with all its tinsel and presents, did not always involve presents… and for the court of Louis XIV it was a rather dull affair mostly. Christmas meant a massContinue reading

The War of the Reunions, 1683-1684

The War of the Reunions was a short conflict in a larger conflict between France, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. Some historians claim it was Louis XIV’sContinue reading

A Party At Vaux-le-Vicomte…

“On 17 August, at six in the evening Fouquet was the King of France: at two in the morning he was nobody.” This quote by Voltaire sums the evening of 17 August in 1661 perfectly up. InContinue reading

Mouches

Mouches aka fake beauty spots were incredibly popular at the court of Louis XIV and worn by males and females alike.   They were usually made of black silk, velvet, muslin or taffeta, but could alsoContinue reading

Chaise à Porteurs

Chaise à Porteurs aka sedan chairs were an incredibly useful mode of transportation at the court of Louis XIV and especially at Versailles, where the distances between buildings were, and still are, rather huge. TheyContinue reading

Révolte des Lustucru

Louis XIV had to face his first revolt after the Fronde in 1662, one year after he took the reins of government into his own hands. The county of Boulonnais was of a strategic importanceContinue reading

Lettre de cachet

Lettres de cachet were one of the most powerful tools of Louis XIV, for they could command, create… silence people or make people vanish forever. The power to issue lettres de cachet is a royal privilegeContinue reading

The Robe de Cour

Fashion was something very important at Louis XIV’s court. While the fashion for the gentleman of quality did not change too much over the years, those of the ladies of quality changed quite often.  Continue reading

La Révolte de Roure

Vivarais, spring 1670. After a hard winter had destroyed all the olive trees of Languedoc, from Montpellier to Aubenas, rumours of new taxes sparked a revolt.   The chronicler Dourille put it like this: “every dayContinue reading

La Cour des Miracles

Although 17th century France had a Sun King, not everything was rainbows and sunshine. There places in various cities, were only the brave dared to walk and which the royal rays of Sun did notContinue reading

The War of Devolution

Lasting from 24 May 1667 to 2 May 1668, the War of Devolution was Louis XIV’s war. His first chance to win glory on the battlefield and that he did.   It all pretty much beganContinue reading

Ice cream for the Sun King

Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of ice cream on a hot summer’s day? Louis XIV certainly did. Eating ice became a fashion at the Sun King’s court in the 1660’s. The Italians did it forContinue reading

Le Grand Carrousel

  Louis XIV was a King that loved to show off and how to do that better than with hosting grand spectacles? If you have been to Paris, you probably stood in front of theContinue reading

17th century beauty hacks

Beauty hacks and tricks to enhance body features are nothing new. The ladies in the 17th century had quite a few of them, some dating back to ancient times, on how to lose weight, makeContinue reading

La Fronde

Long before the Revolution shook France and turned the country upside down, there was the Fronde. A sort of civil war lasting from 1648 to 1653. During this time of general unrest, Louis XIV, still aContinue reading

In bed with the Sun King….

Looking at what is searched for on my blog, this one topic seems to be the one with the most appeal. Not a week passes without countless searches involving the words sex and Louis XIV.Continue reading

Court Mourning

The colours of mourning followed Louis XIV during his long reign of seventy-two years and especially in the last years of his reign, the court hardly got out of mourning. Court mourning followed strict rulesContinue reading

The Miracle Birth Of Louis XIV

Anne d’Autriche and Louis XIII had been married for a long twenty-three years before their first son, Louis XIV, was born. This birth of a healthy heir to the throne of France was regarded aContinue reading

The Death Of Madame

Saint Cloud, June 30, 1670, three o’clock in the morning. Henrietta of England, Henriette d’Angleterre as the French called her, Minette as she was called by her brother, closes her eyes forever. Madame, as she wasContinue reading

The Royal Fistula

Louis XIV was, as everyone else, plagued by the occasional illness. He had the smallpox as child and nearly died, he had a form of typhoid fever and nearly died, he had measles, fevers, colds,Continue reading

The Pleasures of the Enchanted Island

The gardens of Versailles saw their first grand fête in May 1664, the Pleasures of the Enchanted Island. This elaborate garden party marked the beginning of Versailles’ transformation from Louis XIII’s hunting lodge to LouisContinue reading

A Party at Chantilly

As Louis XIV announced his intention to pay a visit to le Grand Condé in April 1671, he had no idea that the honor he bestowed upon Condé, the honor of having the King andContinue reading

The Black Nun of Moret

There are many interesting tales that once circulated at the court of Louis XIV in form of juicy gossip and this one is especially juicy by all means. It is the tale of a darkContinue reading