France in the Eighteenth Century: Its Institutions, Customs and Costumes

France in the Eighteenth Century: Its Institutions, Customs and Costumes


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In fascinating detail, France in the Eighteenth Century focuses on modern history's most extravagant kingdom and century-France before the Revolution, 1700 to 1789. Lavishly illustrated, it re-creates the splendor and squalor of a fateful era, from the court at Versailles to the filthy back streets of Paris, from royal etiquette to the raucous cries of street peddlers.

How the French, rich and poor, dressed, what they ate, how they educated their children, wore their hair, traveled, amused themselves, punished their malefactors-all this and much more comes under the probing eye of Paul Lacroix (1806-1884), Parisian library curator, historian, novelist, playwright, and master of historical detail and trivia. Here are chapters on the lives and courts of the three eighteenth-century kings of France: the last years of the opulent and absolutist Louis XIV, the decadent life of Louis XV, and the well-intentioned reign of the enlightened but blundering Louis XVI. Sections on society, charity, education, fashion, dining, and the theater illustrate the lives of the gentry and bourgeoisie, while street life and Parisian amusements give a picture of the working classes. Chapters on the nobility, the clergy, commerce, finance, and justice outline the functioning-and slow but relentless malfunctioning-of a state and system on the eve of a revolution that would change both France and the world forever.

Quotations from contemporary memoirs, diaries, and social commentary add vivid immediacy to Lacroix's portrait of a vanished epoch. This massive treasure of details, newly annotated to provide additional information for the twenty-first-century reader, is an invaluable reference for specialists in the period, for historical researchers, and for any lover of history.

This paperback book is an unabridged, fully proofread text of a long-out-of print book. It is not an overpriced facsimile of the original printing, or an unedited OCR scan full of strange misspellings and weirdly misplaced typographical characters. It has been edited to add explanatory footnotes for the 21st-century reader and proofed to eliminate misprints and errors so that it is as clear and readable as the original hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541371781
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 01/01/2017
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.69(w) x 9.61(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Paul Lacroix (1806 - 1884), French author and journalist, was born in Paris, the son of a novelist. He is best known under his pseudonym of "P. L. Jacob, bibliophile," or "Bibliophile Jacob," suggested by the constant interest he took in public libraries and books generally. Lacroix was an extremely prolific and varied writer. At the age of twenty-four he founded the journal _Le Gastronome_. More than twenty historical romances alone came from his pen, and he also wrote a variety of serious historical works, including a history of Napoleon III and the life and times of the Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.

He was the joint author with Ferdinand Séré of a five-volume work, _Le moyen âge et la renaissance_ (1847), a standard work on the manners, customs and dress of those times. He also wrote many monographs on phases of the history of culture, including _Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period_ and _Costumes historiques de la France d'après les monuments les plus authentiques_. An exhaustive six-volume _Histoire de la prostitution_ (1851-1854), published under the name Pierre Dufour, has always been attributed to Lacroix. His works on bibliography were also extremely numerous, as was his periodical _Revue universelle des arts_, which he founded in 1855.

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