Posts Tagged ‘Louis XIV’

Time travel with the Examiner

Not only was I asked 10 questions by Kayla Posney of the Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner, but I answered! Truthfully too. Let’s get started. 1. If you could go back in time and be any figure from history, who would it be?

Louis XV as a child by Augustin Justinat

Louis XIV’s political testament

The last years of the reign of Louis XIV were marked by a horrendous series of untimely deaths in the royal family: his son, the Grand Dauphin, then his beloved grandson and granddaughter-in-law, and his great-grandson, the little Duc de Bretagne. Another of Louis XIV grandsons, the Duc de Berry, would die in a hunting […]

Louis XIV and his heirs: sic transit gloria mundi

You can see this painting, formerly attributed to Nicolas de Largillière, at The Wallace Collection in London. It is a most interesting work, not as much by its artistic value (it is probably a copy of aLargillière original by a lesser Court painter) but because of what it tells us about the last years of […]


Louise de Kéroualle, Charles II’s French mistress: a discussion with Susan Holloway Scott

Every time I visit the Getty Center in Los Angeles, I pay a visit to the splendid portrait of Louise de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, by Sir Peter Lely. I knew of my countrywoman Louise, royal mistress, French agent in London and one of the 17th century’s famous beauties. However, when I read Susan Holloway […]

Louis XIV Bernini

Louis XIV: the man and the King

This is the theme of a new exhibition at Versailles opening on October 20. Personal tastes and public image of an extraordinary character. This should one of the great shows this fall in and around Paris. Stay tuned…

Madame de Maintenon

A new biography of Madame de Maintenon, by Veronica Buckley

New in the United States, that is, because it was published last year in the UK. I saw this review in the New York Times. What the NYT reviewer does not mention is that Ms. Buckley’s book had created quite a stir, in that it cited as a prominent source the Secret Diary of Louis […]

A new setting for the Hope Diamond

When I first heard of this, I thought it had to be a hoax. One of those stories serious news outlets like to run on April 1st. But no, this is the end of August, and apparently this is true: the Smithsonian Institution intends to remove the Hope Diamond from its current setting! The Hope is […]

Vaux le Vicomte

Fouquet: guilty? and of what?

Sandra Gulland asks these fascinating questions in Baroque Explorations. We have been talking quite a bit about Louis XIV and the conception of the Palace of Versailles lately. Well, Fouquet’s Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte (below) was the inspiration for it all…

Marie Therese of Spain Queen of France

Versailles: The Dream of a King (BBC version)

Here is a link to this program (available only from the UK.) I just watched it and found it very different from the French original. First the emphasis here is not on the palace itself, but on the character of Louis XIV. Also the dramatization is constantly interrupted by various popular British historians. The result […]

Versailles: The Dream of a King (France 2 version)

This film ran on the BBC a few days ago, and is available for streaming on the France 2 site (from France only, 1.99 euros.) You can also watch it from anywhere, and for free, at Dailymotion. The DVD is sold at under the original title Versailles, le reve d’un roi (careful with the […]