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Calenda : Époque moderne
  1. The foundations of classical ballet: a French affair?
  2. l'enfance de Louis XIV (1/7)
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Recent research has shown, however, that Louis XIV could not arbitrarily dominate his subjects. His rule was limited by the fundamental laws of the realm, tradition, and the practical difficulties of enforcing his will on an extended country of twenty million people.

The foundations of classical ballet: a French affair?

The court of Versailles was a site of mutually satisfactory exchange between king and nobility. The king required the great nobles to attend court because he sought to ensure their loyalty. They came because they considered it their right and privilege and because they received social and material rewards for doing so.

Royaume de France (1643-1792) Musique de la Court de Louis XIV "Marche pour la ceremonie des Turcs"

In this context the etiquette played a key role as it gave the courtiers a purpose beyong the politics of the time: Now titles and offices distinguished the nobles from each other more than they had ever done before. Versailles became the stage for the intrigues of a more and more isolated social group struggling for honour and wealth in a strict hierarchy.

The correct appearance in society which also included gesticulation particular references and gestures was considered science mainly taught by various teachers in Paris. It is not only a dancing, but also an etiquette guide that told the reader how to stand, walk, and how to manage all sorts of everyday situations with grace. In the following we would like to share some of this very detailed knowledge.

According to Rameau the head should be held straight without looking cramped. The shoulders should be pushed backwards in order to display the chest giving more grace to the whole appearance of the body whereas the arms are supposed to be held next to your body with your hands neither opened nor closed. Bend your legs and place one foot behind another. The left foot in front you you were ready to walk and enter any other position. The walk is supposed to recall a dance: Its elegance and grace. You begin to walk, based on the previous stance, by stamping the left foot and leaning forward so that the right foot rises.

In a smooth movement the right leg will extend and move in front of the left. Please contact mpub-help umich. For more information, read Michigan Publishing's access and usage policy. When Louis XIV died in , doctors noted upon conducting his autopsy that his stomach was three times the size of that of the average adult.

l'enfance de Louis XIV (1/7)

Bonnefons noted that, for the presentation, "the middle of the table will be left empty, since the master of the house will have difficulty in reaching it because of his girth. The seeds of the culinary revolution, like those of the socio-political one, were planted by Louis le Grand. French cuisine changed very little during the Middle Ages. Even during the Renaissance when a type of more refined cooking was introduced, the French diet remained dominated by certain cereals and legumes for the poor and by spicy, boiled meats for those who could afford them.

Vegetables were generally considered indigestible with little to no health benefits attributed to them. During the reign of Louis XIV, all of that changed. The king's preference for certain delicacies, his love for his garden and for the fruits and vegetables that it produced, set the stage for the culinary revolution that would bring French cuisine to the pinnacle of the culinary realm internationally.

Like the French Revolution in our history books, the culinary one took time to complete. Both lasted for at least a century before any sort of stability settled in. Reading about the culinary revolution today is reminiscent of reading about the Revolution of prior to the s. From the histories, the Revolution appeared to have come about as the triumph of bourgeois values and practices over aristocratic excesses and abuses.

But just as we have come to consider this interpretation of the fall of the Bastille insufficient and overly simplified, so must we find such an interpretation of the lesser revolution unsatisfactory. So much more was involved, and so much more history must be taken into consideration. Overeating, after all, was nothing new to the king's court in the latter half of the seventeenth century. Gluttony rather seems to have been a cyclical phenomenon.

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Even before Charlemagne, the Gaulois ate badly but copiously. What they lacked in variety they compensated for with abundance. Charlemagne introduced a certain order and appreciation into the menu, and he even invited women to sit at his table with his men "on condition that they not bother them with nauseating scents or harmful fragrances. French cuisine slept from Charlemagne's death in until the first Valois took the throne in the fourteenth century. Part of the reason for this apparent lack of culinary interest and definite lack of culinary progress was shortage.

Toward the end of Charlemagne's life, famine threatened. The emperor was able to fend off the worst by enforcing strict controls such as forbidding the exportation of certain staples and setting maximum prices for comestible commodities.

With Charlemagne's death came an end to food management. The French peasantry suffered greatly and was reduced to mixing dirt into the flour to make bread. Certain leaves and barks similarly entered into the French diet. A people who had primarily eaten meat had difficulty adapting itself to this new regime—so much so that cannibalism was, in certain times and places, preferable to vegetarianism. Reliability aside, the information that we have does seem to indicate clearly that abundance, and therefore gluttony, did not characterize the popular Gaulois culture during these centuries.

Overeating, however, did characterize a certain privileged segment of the population. Even when food was relatively scarce—even when it was very scarce—the art of eating remained alive and well in several convents and monasteries. A critique of gluttony implies that it did, indeed, occur. Michel Rouche has demonstrated that the tradition in convents and monasteries of eating well and copiously is nearly as ancient as the Carolingian dynasty. In the ninth century, Charles the Bald instituted in certain abbeys the consolationes refectionis extra food or drink allowances to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates of the royal house and to honor illustrious bishops of the episcopate.

Annual feasts, which took place simply because the year had passed, were also put into place at this time and demonstrate the festive nature of these meals.

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But Rouche's work also demonstrates very well the religious and political function of all this feasting: to legitimize the sovereign and to ensure the succession of the throne. At the same time as it establishes the cultural, religious, and political significance of monastic feasts, Rouche's work clarifies the specific content and dietary value of the meals. During the ninth century, the number of feasts more than doubled from what monastic rules had prescribed a century earlier. And during these days of feast, those participating in the meal consumed between eight and nine thousand calories.

Even on non-feast days, solid rations for the inhabitants of the monasteries increased by 30 percent and liquid rations by 50 percent, once again from those prescribed by monastic rules.

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There is little wonder that chroniclers should have found fault in such excesses when a large portion of the population was finding it difficult even to survive on a subsistence diet. The Great Famine that beset northern Europe from until extended as far south as the Pyrenees, as far west as Ireland, and as far east as Poland. Although it lasted less than a decade, it was one of the most serious catastrophes to affect the European continent, and it lived on in memory for the rest of the century. When it finally subsided, the general French population began to think about improving its menus.

But as the culinary somnolence of the Middle Ages ended, a deep divide came to separate the victuals prepared by the cooks of aristocrats from those that made their way onto the popular table. No longer was the distinction merely one of abundance as it had been during the centuries of scarcity , it was also one of refinement and delicacy, of good taste, and style.

The revolution of the seventeenth century—the culinary one—did indeed start during the reign of Louis XIV. French cuisine was as young as the child king himself when he ascended the throne in , but it, too, came of age relatively quickly.

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It was destined for the "table of the Great, and of Individuals" and was the first cookbook to associate French cooking with a passion, a treasure, and a chef-d'oeuvre. It was the first work to describe French cuisine as "delicately readied" and to advocate that plates be garnished with flowers. Cardinal Richelieu was of an advanced age, Mazarin not so much. Thus Anne must have slept with Mazarin. Both of them got along very well in later years, which led to rumours of a secret marriage between them, but he can not possibly be the father of Louis XIV.

Cour de

Same goes for Cinq-Mars. Anne was already pregnant as Cinq-Mars gained close access to the royal family. In case of Gaston, it is highly unlikely that Anne, who did not want Gaston as next King, would agree to have him as father of the future King… and live with the danger of being exposed by him. There was plenty time left for Gaston to roll in bed and make a legitimate heir himself with the wife. There was a bit of a smear campaign in the s and these rumours emerged again with more possible fathers being added.

Or an illegitimate son of Henri IV. There were also whispers it was someone who looked a bit like Louis XIII and was then shipped off to the colonies afterwards, dared to return a couple of years later and ended up as the infamous Man in the Iron Mask …. As interesting as the rumours are, the chance of something like that actually happening are very very very slim.

There is a much more simple explanation why it took so long, it makes way more sense… and is actually documented. Anne and Louis tried, but since Louis was not too eager in that department, he might have had more interest in men, they did not try as often as the general public expected. Louis was not infertile, nor was Anne, which the misscarriages prove.