Louis XIV has passed away 300 years ago. A multitude of works have been written and edited. What can we still learn about the Sun King? Lots of things, lots of details that we discover with great pleasure in the " Chronicle of an end of the century "From Claude Jean Nebrac.
Between chronology and various facts
Let us go back to the years 1698-1699 and take a walk at Court, in France or in neighboring countries. Thus we learn of the birth of Mademoiselle de Chartres, the rise of Father Genest integrating the French Academy to the 39th chair, the replacement of the governor of the Bastille or the behavior of Madame de Maintenon in the camp of Compiègne.
The author also tells us about the new arrangements for the return of the Reformed to France, the collapse of the Fontenay-Le-Comte courthouse, the body of Louvois finally transferred to the Invalides, the earthquake in China and the mini tsunami. in Catania, the leper colony of Marseille which has become an establishment for extravagant or insane people, discoveries in large numbers under the great altar of Notre Dame de Paris such as the tomb with the heart of Louise of Savoy, the entrails of Louis XIII, solar eclipse, the Protestant states of Germany adopting the Gregorian calendar.
Among the "lighter" news, we note that the fashion is in damask and pink, lemon yellow ribbons, the sculpture and painting exhibition in the Grande Galerie du Louvre.
More boring subjects are mentioned such as the increase in the price of theater tickets to finance the poor at the General Hospital, the imprisonment of people for the motive of insolent words towards ministers or the illegal practice of medicine, the reform of the value of currencies from January 1, 1700 with a decrease in value.
But throughout the year, the big topic was whether or not the year 1700 would be the first year of the next century! And finally in December 1699, a few days before the end of the month, the French people still did not know if the century will begin with the year 1700 or if the coming year would be the last of the current century! To be continued....
Although they are imaginary, but based on reality, these various facts, events and news concerning Paris, the countryside, the big cities of France and Europe, are pleasant to read. What makes this diary interesting is its variety and its short articles punctuated with songs from the time that mock many characters.
Chronicle of a fin de siècle under Louis XIV (August 1698 to December 1699), by Claude Jean Nébrac. BoD, 2015.