• Dangeau’s Diary, July 1688

    23d. — Marshal Estrees is bombarding Algiers and the inhabitants of the town have already blown many French slaves from the mouths of their cannon. As many herts have been shot, as the Algerines have killed Christians, and have been sent to them on rafts. It is not expected these pirates can be reduced.

  • Dangeau’s Diary, August 1688

    2nd. — Arlequin died this day at Paris. It is said he leaves behind him property worth three hundred thousand livres. All the sacraments were administered to him, because he promised not to appear again on the stage. 18th. — Racine, by command of Madame de Maintenon, is writing an opera, the subject of which is Esther and Ahasuerus. It…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, July 1662

    1 July, his Majesty names Hardouin de Pérefixe de Beaumont, Bishop of Rodez, to be the new Archbishop of Paris. At the same time, the Bishop of Rennes is made Archbishop of Auch and the Bishop of Castres is named Archbishop of Toulouse. 4 July, the Conseil d’en haut has decided that solely the Chambre de justice has the power…

  • 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 the French Kings were indeed crazy about it.   The game is way older than one might think too. It dates back to the 12th century…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, June 1662

    1 June, his Majesty returns from Fontainebleau and stops at Saint-Cloud, where he is welcomed by Monsieur and treated to some splendid snacks. 2 June, his Majesty has dispatched the Marquis d’Estrades to the King of England in order to congratulate the English Majesty on his wedding with the Infanta of Portugal (Catherine of Braganza). 4 June, His Majesty visits…

  • 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 until the 12th century and compared to how many people had offices in the Maison du Roi, the King’s Household, the Maison de la Reine was…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, May 1662

    1 May, his Majesty is displeased with the Duchesse de Montpensier, for her lack of interest to marry the King of Portugal. 2 May, a grand spectacle is being prepared for the following month. It will be a competition of horsemanship and held in front of the Louvre to celebrate the birth of Monseigneur. 3 May, his Majesty pays a…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, June 1688

    6th. — The Prince d’Elbeuf and the Prince Philip of Savoy had a quarrel while at play. Monseigneur reconciled them, but some days after the Prince d’Elbeuf was found to be wounded in the thigh. He said that, having drawn his sword, and wishing to sheathe it, he missed the scabbard, and had thus wounded himself. The King has, however,…

  • 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 hairstyle that dominated Louis XIV’s court and swept all over the world.   Legend has it that this hairstyle is the result of a hunting accident.…

  • 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 pass away before their actual baptism, the gates of heaven would welcome them. Louis actual baptism took place in 1643. It was the first chance to shine…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, April 1662

    1 April, according to rumours a great scandal happened last month. It appears that Mademoiselle de La Vallière had fled court for a convent and his Majesty was forced to ride there to make her return. Their Majesties sign the contract of marriage of Monsieur le Marquis de Vaubrun and Mademoiselle Marie-Marguerite-Thérèse de Bautru de Serrant, daughter of the Comte…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, May 1688

    21st. — The Comte de Solre has lost at Malines an important law-suit, which he had pending against the Prince of Orange and the King, who knows that injustice has been done him, has caused it to be notified to the Baron d’Elval, the Spanish envoy, that it was his wish that the decision might be set aside, otherwise he…

  • Notre-Dame de Paris

    That most glorious church of the most glorious Virgin Mary, mother of God, deservedly shines out, like the sun among stars. There is the saying that all roads lead to Rome. In France, all major roads lead to Notre-Dame. The point zero, from which the distance between the French cities is calculated, is located just outside Notre-Dame. Thus one could…

  • Le Palais du Louvre, Une Histoire.

    I don’t know about you, but my favourite place to be in Paris is the Louvre. Not just because it is a fabulous museum now, but more because of its very walls. Just looking at this vast building and thinking about what those venerable walls have seen… if they could talk, the stories they would tell would be by far…

  • Marie-Madeleine Pioche de La Vergne, Comtesse de La Fayette

    Marie-Madeleine Pioche de La Vergne better known as Madame de La Fayette, was the author of France’s first first historical novel La Princesse de Clèves. It was so successful that people outside of Paris had to wait months in order to get their hands on a copy, if they managed at all. Marie-Madeleine was born on 18 March 1634, into…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, March 1662

      1 March, their Majesties travel to #Versailles in order to spend the day there. 3 March, their Majesties go to the Louvre to visit the Princesse Palatine (Anne de Gonzague) in order to state their condolences on the demise of her mother-in-law, la Reine de Bohême (Elizabeth Stuart). Afterwards, they attend the sermon of Abbé Bossuet. 4 March, the…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, April 1688

    22d. — The King has presented Racine and Despreaux, who are employed in writing his history, with one thousand pistoles each. 29th. — I am told that the King has given a pension of two thousand livres to d’Estoublon, formerly maitre d’hotel to the Queen-mother.

  • Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre

    Music during the time of Louis XIV was dominated by the male gender, there is one woman however who was celebrated for her creations as much as the males.   Élisabeth Jacquet was born in the first months of the year 1665 to Claude Jacquet and Anne de la Touche. Her baptism took place on 17 March 1665 and her papa…

  • La Galerie des Glaces

    The chateau de Versailles has a lot of places and rooms that make one look around in awe, but the most impressive of them all is most likely the Hall of Mirrors aka the Galerie des Glaces. If you have been to Versailles, you probably remember very well what you thought the first time to stepped into the massive hall…

  • Charles Le Brun, premier peintre du roi

    Charles Le Brun, also written as Lebrun or LeBrun, was born on 24 February 1619 into a family of artists. He was the third of five children born to the sculptor Nicolas Le Brun and Julienne Le Bé, who came from a family of writers. Nicolas Le Brun trained his sons, Nicolas II, Charles and Gabriel, in the art of…

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