In the King’s Service


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The Palace of Versailles naturally evokes the gold and splendour of the French Court under the kings of France, and it is easy to forget that it was also a space for living, home not only to the royal family and lords, but also to a whole community of servants who contributed to its functioning and fame. Through portraits of dynasties of men and women who worked and served in the palace from Louis XIV to Louis XVI, Mathieu da Vinha reveals the careers and destinies of entrepreneurs, stonemasons, Officers of the Chamber and the Clothes Storehouse, a colonel of the Swiss Guards, a Grand Maréchal of buildings, concierges in the Palace and Menagerie, Mme de Maintenon’s Intendant, the priest of Versailles, the governess of the Princes and Princesses of the Realm and the king’s cooks. Each person contributed in their own way to the construction and reputation of Versailles. The author draws on new sources to depict these people who played a vital role in the royal system and explains how the Court worked.
Whatever their rank, these key people built social and matrimonial ties that not only secured their family’s positions for several generations, but also enabled them to obtain new ones.

Publication: 12 march 2015
352 pages
ISBN : 9791021010048
21,5 x 2,7 x 14,5 cm
Language : French