Category Archives: Libertines

Water and Moral Rectitude in XVIII Century Painting

By mid 1700’s water is back with vengeance; and in the late XVIII century its use does not only concern itself with hygiene, but quickly gains the grounds in the social and political discourse: it is not just a bath … Continue reading

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Was the Sun King Afraid of Water?

“Essa puta me va a matar!” Marie-Thérèse of Austria, being a quintessential Latino woman, treated the issue with an unusual for Versailles directness. Madame de Montespan commanded a whole wing of the palace — the space shared by all the … Continue reading

Posted in Chateau Versailles, Chateau Versailles Furniture, Chateau Versailles Spectacle, Court, Courtiers, Libertines, Louis XIV, Madame de Montespan, Marie-Therese | 4 Comments

The Pink Ballets

This sex scandal made all the headlines in 1960: the President of the French National Assembly, André le Troquer, was caught using property of the French Republic for his libertine parties. The parties became nick-named as ballets because they involved … Continue reading

Posted in Gardens and Park, Libertines, Louis XV, Versailles | Leave a comment

He Had a Cold Gaze of a True Libertine

I don’t think he did, for in spite of his superior knowledge of chemistry, to Casanova sexual relationship is not an experiment. He seeks no dark recess in a female. He refuses to take her seriously. In our hero’s bag … Continue reading

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Napoleon III and the Women He Could Afford

Attention everybody, the Emperor is tweaking his mustache! This meant Napoleon III had noticed a new girl in the crowd and was getting ready for action. It is instructive to take a look at the women in question; so, let us sample his … Continue reading

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What We Owe to the Libertines

Duke of Orleans, the Regent, was a hard-working man, but he partied just as hard and needed as much time there to show the seriousness of effort. This is why every afternoon, exactly at five o’clock, he would take his … Continue reading

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The Museum of Crime

Yesterday I visited a most unusual museum — the archives of the Quartier Latin Police Station (4 rue de Montagne Sainte-Genevieve.) I must tell you that the arrest and prison records make a fascinating read. Let me give you at least … Continue reading

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The Husband’s Best Friend

Saint Guerluchon is a medieval fertility saint whom the XVIII century turned into a patron saint of cuckolds. This conversion is a complicated process by which letter u was deleted, and letters e and r traded their positions; the XVIII … Continue reading

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Versailles Vice

Casanova spent a good part of his life trying to convince us that vice has nothing to do with crime. A waste of time, try telling a judge today that all you meant was to have some innocent fun! There … Continue reading

Posted in Casanova, Chateau Versailles, Court, Courtiers, Duke of Orleans, Libertines, Louis XIV, Versailles | Leave a comment

Versailles and its Critics, from Sévigné to Montesquieu

Madame de Sévigné is ambivalent on the subject: there are days when she likes Versailles, and there are days when she does not. Let us hear her out, “The court is at Saint-Cloud. The king wants to go to Versailles. … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Chateau Versailles, Court, Courtiers, Libertines, Louis XIV, Versailles | Leave a comment