History Today subscription

Versailles: The Making of a Palace

Charles Mauricheau-Beaupré surveys the broad sweep of history occupants of the Palace of Versailles have witnessed, and makes a case for its rehabilitation.

View of Versailles from the Avenue de Paris, ca. 1662 by Pierre Patel. This was how Versailles looked before Louis XIV began enlarging the château.I once amused myself by inscribing the title-page of a work on Versailles with Samuel Richardson’s sally about the origins of the palace, which he described as “sprung from a dunghill within an elderly person’s remembrance”. At the time when the young Richardson was apprenticed to the publisher, Wilde, this fairy tale, which does indeed begin among the dunghills of a village, was still within the recollection of “elderly persons”, such as St. Evremond. Louis XIII, “the mightiest of royal hunters”, in hot pursuit of a stag was often overtaken by the night at Versailles.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email digital@historytoday.com if you have any problems.



Get Miscellanies, our free weekly long read, in your inbox every week