A King’s Portrait To Scare Your Children

What a wax portrait of the aging Louis XIV has made Antoine Benoist! The year is 1709, the year of that frightening winter when horses died of cold in the stables and birds froze in their flight…. Trees…, trees fell with great noise and the most powerful of liquors cracked their bottles in the cabinets at the Chateau Versailles. Courtiers no longer cared to step out into the Mirror Gallery to gossip; for it had no heating and has turned into the gallery of ice…. Oh, this is the first year of that disaster, the War of Spanish Succession; its early battles, like Malplaquet, with thirty thousand dead and fourteen thousand of the French taking prisoners, left all the ministers dumb-struck, and none of them wanted to bring the terrible news to the king… and they left it to Madame Maintenon to let him know that he was no longer invincible….

This entry was posted in Chateau Versailles, Louis XIV, Madame Maintenon, Saint-Simon and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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