Saturday, September 24, 2016

Facts I'll watch for in #Versailles TV show next week! #cookies! #soldiers #France

Laduree shop on Champs Elysee!
With a few courses in French history under my skin, I'm not only eager to see what the producers have done with Versailles the television show...but I'm also wild to note if they got many of the details right! (I have few doubts!)

First, I've noted in the commercials, that Louis and one of his mistresses eat what appear to be cookies from a "tree of cookies." The delicacies are round, composed of two cookies with a fondant or cream in the center. These are the macarons, so famous by Laduree.

Laduree has a shop (among many others elsewhere) along the Champs Elysee, where you can not only buy the delicious filled cookies, but you can dine there.

I will be on the lookout for a mention of the famous macarons!

Louis as a child!
Entrance to Les Invalides which Louis built to care for
his injured, disabled soldiers. Louis engaged in so many wars that
this building stands to this day as his care for them.
It is now a military museum which spectacularly covers feudal
warfare up to modern day.
The other little fact I'm tickled to look for is one that made me giggle in French history seminar. What was it? Louis was so sensitive, so demanding, that when anyone approached his chamber, he insisted they not knock on his door to disturb him.

So, you may ask, what did they do instead?

They were, said the Sun King, to scratch on the door with the nail of their little finger! And to accomplish this on a regular basis, one had to take care of that nail and grow it longer!

Louis was also very particular about the clothing of his courtiers. As in England during periods of war, some fabrics were reserved only for the highest level of the aristocracy. Other levels had restrictions of length of trains, types of garments worn and all in an elaborate system that took an inordinate amount of time for noblemen and ladies to learn!
Queen Maria Theresa, Louis's life, and their son, the Grand Dauphin.

And my last little fact for this post about Louis and Versailles: the cost. Ah, yes. Astronomical. Some  estimates are, in today's money, 2 billion Euros. Other experts say it was 5 times that. Why is there so much debate? Because Louis was careful to keep the real costs to himself. Some say, the complete records were never complete. Secret or incomplete, the taxes he imposed on his subjects to build this famous palace—and to fight the wars he declared, bankrupted the country quickly. His two successors were never able to put the country back on a sound financial footing (including the dissolute Louis XV whom we saw in #Outlander in this last season). Grandeur has its costs!

Louis as a young man.
Very handsome!

Cathedral where all French kings were crowned in Reims, France

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