• Adieu 2018…..

    This has become a bit of a tradition, hasn’t it? I don’t know about you, but many say 2017 was quite a strange year. 2018 tops it for me by far and I’m not even thinking of all the political madness of this year when I say that. So, brace yourself, this will be quite personal. But let’s start with…

  • 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 mass marathon for the King and his family. The great Sun King was usually present at around four different masses on Christmas Eve alone and there…

  • Élisabeth-Charlotte d’Orléans, Duchesse de Lorraine

    Born on 13 September in 1676 at Saint-Cloud, Élisabeth-Charlotte was the third and last child born to Philippe de France and his second wife Liselotte von der Pfalz. She was the granddaughter of a King, niece of a King, mother of an Emperor and grandmother of France’s most famous Queen, Marie-Antoinette. After five years of marriage and two sons, Monsieur was…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, December 1687

    1st. — Marly. The King remarked, that so many persons had desired to accompany him to Marly, that if the chateau had been as large as that of Fontainebleau, they could not all be accommodated. He said to Monsieur de Metz, whom he esteems very much: “Others desire me to bring them with me to Marly, and I desire you…

  • Marguerite-Louise d’Orléans, Grande-Duchesse de Toscane

    Born on 28 July in 1645 at the château de Blois, Marguerite-Louise was the first child and daughter of Gaston de France and his second wife Marguerite de Lorraine and thus a first-cousin to Louis XIV.   Gaston de France was the brother of Louis XIII and married Marguerite de Lorraine in secret and against the will of his kingly brother, which led to…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, November 1661

    1 November, All Saints’ Day, excitement rules Fontainebleau, for her Majesty is about to give birth. His Majesty is by her side. 1 November, it is a boy! Her Majesty gave birth to a Dauphin at eleven fifty-three in the morning! His Majesty is beside himself with joy and rushed to the windows to announce “La reine est accouchée d’un…

  • Anne-Geneviève de Bourbon, Duchesse de Longueville

    On 28 August in 1619, a girl was born in the dark prison of the château de Vincennes, which was sixty years later inhabited by poisoners awaiting their death sentences after plenty of torture.   That girl was Anne-Geneviève de Bourbon, the first child and only daughter of Henri de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, and his wife Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency. Her parents…

  • L’escalier des Ambassadeurs

    L’escalier des Ambassadeurs, also called Grand escalier de Versailles, was one of the château’s main attractions and of great political importance. This monumental staircase was the place, where ambassadors from all around the world were waiting to be received by Louis XIV and to present him their credentials. As Louis XIV took into mind to made Versailles the very centre of France,…

  • The Confessions of Monsieur E by Jules Harper

      “From a tiny French village to the glittery debauchery of 17th century Paris… Take a romp through the wicked court of King Louis XIV… Nothing is censored. Everything is for sale.” Does that caption intrigue you? Then dive into the world of Monsieur E. It is the time of Louis XIV and while the young King enjoys women and…

  • Julie d’Aubigny, Mademoiselle Maupin

    One can use a lot of words to describe Mademoiselle Maupin, a flamboyant cross-dressing opera-singing swords-woman, but utterly badass might be the most fitting.   Julie was born between 1670 and 1673 to Gaston d’Aubigny, who served as secretary to the Comte d’Armagnac. Said Comte d’Armagnac, Louis de Lorraine, was  a Prince of Lorraine and the Grand Écuyer of France and on…

  • Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne

    “A General who has never been defeated can’t have been at his business very long.” Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne, or simply Turenne, is one of the most celebrated war heroes of France and already was one during his lifetime.   Henri comes from a prominent family with Huguenot roots that gained political influence. Henri IV arranged for Turenne’s father to…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, November 1687

    6th. — Monsieur Charmel has for some time felt such a religious call, that he has resolved upon quitting the court. He informed the King of it this evening, and will sell his offices in order to be the more independent. He is captain of the battle-axes, and the King’s lieutenant for the Isle of France. His determination is the…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, October 1661

    1 October, his Majesty names the Bishop of Rodez (Hardouin de Péréfixe de Beaumont) Chancellor and Superintendent of the Order and witnesses the saying of the oath. 9 October, his Majesty is present as François de Clermont-Tonnerre takes his oath as new Bishop of Noyon. 10 October, the new Bishop of Noyon takes his leave from the King. 15 October,…

  • Marie Bosse, palm-reader and poisoner

    After the arrest of Madame de Brinvilliers, who had conspired with her lover to murder half her family in order to inherit wealth and property, the people of Paris and Louis XIV’s court were not just truly shocked by it all, the arrest also made them remember quite the number of strange and mysterious deaths and talk of powders and…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, October 1687

    22d. — Fontainebleau. The King expected that Monsieur le Prince would have been here to speak to him, respecting the conduct of Monsieur le Duc, with whom his Majesty is not satisfied. He wishes him to break off his intimacy with certain young persons. Monsieur le Duc is only anxious to justify his friends, saying, that he alone should be…

  • 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’s most successful war.   The whole thing already started in the 1670s. In several peace treaties, that of Westphalia, Aix-la-Chapelle and Nijmegen, France gained several…

  • Marie de Lorraine, Princesse de Monaco

    Marie de Lorraine, born on 12 August 1674, was a daughter of Louis de Lorraine, Comte d’Armagnac, and his wife Catherine de Neufville de Villeroi. The couple was very fertile and had fourteen children, Marie was their ninth child and fifth daughter.   Both of her parents were rather prominent courtiers. Louis held the rank of foreign prince and the…

  • Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, September 1661

    1 September, his Majesty arrives in Nantes around noon to attend the états de Bretagne. Monsieur Fouquet has already arrived the previous day. 1 September, after arriving in Nantes, the King proceeds to the chateau where he meets various deputies, before walking to the chateau’s parapet on the river side to be greeted by the town with a canon salute.…

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