January 08, 2009

Reading Material: Versailles, Biography of a Palace

Today I recommend the book, Versailles: A Biography of a Palace. It is rather saucy, with interesting details and accounts from those who inhabited the glamorous palace. From the time of the Sun King to Louis XVI, this 'biography' recalls interesting bits of history that took place under the guilt roofs of the Palace. The sheer gossip and juicy stories keep the pages turning.

You will learn that Princesse Lamballe was not so 'featherbrained' as history might recall. There is a discussion on the parties the Duchesse de Polignac threw, and who would use her for gain. In society and in this case, in Versailles, a lover could not show any affection to his mistress - in public that is! When the doors are closed anything goes. When the doors are open, you dare to touch the back of the chair she sits in! There are even bits about which rooms certain people did you-know-what in! If you are one who wishes walls could talk, this book might be the closest thing you will come by.

Here is an excerpt:

"At Versailles chamber pots were common as well, if not universal, and in the eighteenth century, despite attempts to stop the practice, servants on the upper stories frequently emptied them into the interior courts below. The dauphine Marie-Antoinette was once hit as she crossed the kings inner courtyards beneath the numerous windows of the king's mistress, Madame du Barry."

I found this title in the library but it is also available here, on Amazon.com

12 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hi Lauren! This book sounds delicious! I can't wait to get my gossipy little hands on it! Thanks for the tip :) Best wishes!
    xoxo
    Judith~

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  3. I know you will love it! We will have to gossip after you read it! :o)

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  4. oh your blog is so much fun. But I am confused- how are you related to the Duchess of Devonshire's Gossip Guide? (That's how I found you.)

    I have only one book on Versailles and it is not that gossipy so this books looks like a fun read. thanks for posting it.

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  5. Heather and I started our sites together, to share all the interesting bits of history we love! Each site is unique and focuses on our own special areas of research and interest.
    We share a sense of style and occupations!

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  6. I just found your blog and it's wonderful! I am currently reading Abundance a novel about Marie Antoinette - it's a fun read - I'll put this book on my list too!

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  7. thanks for this new future buy :)

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  8. I'm with Lauren on this one. I couldn't put this book down! It was so full of meaty tidbits.

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  9. Sounds really good!! I will certainly buy it. Thanks for posting it!

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  10. Hey Lauren, just dropping by to tell you that...I've given you the "Great Buddy" award!

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  11. I've always read that the palace was actually very dirty, smelly and in a state of falling part.

    I am going to pick this up and learn more! Thank you for the rec!

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  12. Another book I must add to my "Must Reads".

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