A Fanfare for the Sun King



Unfolding Fans for Louis XIV by Pamela Cowen

In this fascinating book, daily life and times at the court of the ‘Sun King’, including well-known figures such as Madames de Montespan and Maintenon, as well as other royal and court figures, visiting dignitaries and national events, are discussed in considerable detail. Many scenes are set in the grounds of Versailles and these are identified by the author, whose impeccable research provides the gossip ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’. All this is presented in the vehicle of the folding fan, which rose to prominence under Louis XIV. He inspired subject matter for painted fan leaves, and moreover imposed strict etiquette at court involving the use (and non-use) of fans.