December 2018 book reviews

Connexion journalists read the latest French releases. To be fair, each gets 20 minutes’ reading time

The Queen’s Embroiderer, Joan DeJean

Bloomsbury Publishing, $30 ISBN: 978-1-63286-474-1

This unusual non-fiction book gives a unique insight into life in the 17th-18th centuries, from Versailles to Louisiana, via research into a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ tale the author came across by accident.

Working in the national archives she found a letter appointing one Jean Magoulet as embroiderer to Louis XIV’s queen - and then saw a royal decree to lock up his daughter and send her to the colonies...

The book details the lives of the Chevrots and Magoulets, who rose to riches in finance and embroidery, and in particular Louis and Louise who fell in love against their fathers’ wishes.

Embroidery was a key way in which wealth was displayed and the ‘Sun King’ himself ‘seemed garbed solely in gold and silver, reflecting light at every turn’. When ‘a taste for fabulous garments’ spread to the middle class too, the haute couture industry was born, but no modern fashion ...

To read the remaining 85% of this article, you need to either

Subscribe now to The Connexion and benefit from access to our archived articles since 2006

Freedom Subscription

Pay every three months. Our most flexible subscription.

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

1 Year Subscription (12 editions)

1 year of great reading in print and online

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

Digital Subscription (1 Year) (Our best value offer)

1 year of great reading online *no paper*

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

Digital subscription (freedom - 3 months)

3 months of great reading online *no paper*

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

More articles from Books
More articles from Connexion France
Other articles that may interest you

Loading some business profiles...

Loading some classifieds...