• 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. In the early evening hours of that warm summer day, Nicolas Fouquet’s star shone bright on the firmament over Vaux-le-Vicomte. Only a few hours later, he…

  • Thoughts on Versailles season three, episode three….

    I hope you have a cup of tea or any other beverage of your choosing ready, for we are about to jump back to 17th century France… and everything behind this sentence will contain spoilers. Last episode, Monsieur teamed up with Fabien to find Mask Man and was totally uncaring that his son and heir was removed from Versailles by…

  • Marie Mancini, Princesse Colonna

    Anna Maria Mancini, adopted, like her sisters and cousins, the French version of her name, Marie, as she came to France. Born on August 28, 1639, to the Italian aristocrat and necromancer Lorenzo Mancini and Geronima Mazzarini, sister of Cardinal de Mazarin, Marie was the sister of Laure, Olympe, Hortense, Marie Anne and the first love of Louis XIV. Marie spent…

  • Alexandre Bontemps, Valet and Special Agent

    Born on 9 June in 1626 in Paris, Alexandre Bontemps rose to be one of the most powerful men at the court of Louis XIV. His father, Jean-Baptiste Bontemps, was originally from Marseille and was made first surgeon to Louis XIII in 1633 and in 1643, he became premier valet de chambre ordinaire by lettres patentes. Louis XIII died a…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, October 1685

    2d. — The King at his levee received the intelligence that all the town of Castres was converted. 5th. — We have learnt that Montpellier and all the diocese, as well as Lunel, Maugnio, Aigues- mortes, are converted. The diocese of Nismes, the same. 7th. — The death of Vittorio Siri, historiographer to the King, was announced. He had been…

  • Five Things You Probably Did Not Know About Louis XIV

    -Louis XIV liked his windows open. He did not care much if the weather was good or bad, as soon as he entered a room, Louis opened all windows. His mistresses did not like this habit much. Madame de Maintenon complained of it regularly, saying the King does not care whether she felt cold due to the windows being open. It was…

  • 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 was called at court, being the wife of Monsieur, the King’s brother, had suddenly fallen ill the previous day, June 29, and died less than…

  • The death of Philippe de France, Duc d’Orléans

    On 8 June in 1701, the Château de Marly was the location of a dinner party. It was Louis XIV’s habit to leave Versailles at times and retreat to Marly-le-Roi, where he had built a, compared to Versailles, small château. To be of the ‘Marlys’, meaning to be one of few allowed to follow the King to his ‘summer house’…

  • The Chevalier de Rohan and The Latréaumont Conspiracy

    Louis de Rohan was born in 1635 to Louis VIII de Rohan, Duc de Montbazon, and Anne de Rohan, Princesse de Guéméné, into the ambitious House of Rohan. A House that claims ancestry from the King’s of Brittany. A Vicomte de Porhoët was the first to take the name of Rohan, after the place he was born, and through the Vicomtes the family was…

  • 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, gout, bad toothaches…..   The fact that Louis did recover from some of these more dramatic maladies is quite the miracle, considering the medical and…

  • 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 Louis XIV’s Palace of Glory. Louis XIV invited 600 guests to the spectacle hosted in the freshly enlarged and dolled-up gardens of Versailles from May 7…

  • 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 honour he bestowed upon Condé, the honour of having the King and his whole court as guests for a few days, would end in a suicide.   The Prince de Condé had only 15 days to prepare the…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, April 1685

    2nd. — The King bought the Hôtel de Vendome at Paris. It cost him two hundred thousand crowns for the creditors, and six thousand louis to Monsieur de Vendome (Louis Joseph de Bourbon, Duc de Vendôme). It will be converted into an elegant square and the King will raise at least two hundred thousand francs, by the ground to be…

  • “Versailles sounds and looks very silly.” Does it?

    It’s been a while now since Versailles has aired in France and I did my last bit of ado on it. Since then the show has aired in several other countries as well, Canada and Belgium, for example, my own native country Germany can watch it on pay-tv right now and it will most likely be view able on free-tv…

  • Claude de Vin des Œillets

    Claude de Vin des Œillets, dite Mademoiselle des Œillets, was born in the Provence in 1637, as daughter of Nicholas de Vin and Alix de Faviot, better known by their stage name des Œillets, both being actors and country comedians, leading a nomadic life.   This lifestyle full of privations came to an end as Nicolas fell ill and died,…

  • Dangeau’s Diary, March 1685

    4th. — There was a little carousel. It consisted of two quadrilles, the quadrille of the Christians was composed of myself, representing Charlemagne, Monseigneur as Zerbin, Monsieur de la Roche Guyon as Aquilan le Nuir, Monsieur de Liancourt as Griffon le Blanc, the Prince de Tingri as Renaud and Monsieur d’Antin as Roland. This quadrille was dressed in black and…

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