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 The Real Versailles 
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Royalty
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
I'm reading it too. Well I'll admit it I'm a romantic. However I find the image (since I have been there myself) being surrounded by such grandeur and then seeing urine and feces ironic. With that strict etiquette you would think that certain ranks would have to be designated in certain places and in chamber pots, I almost wish that at this point it was that strict.

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Thu May 01, 2008 9:08 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
You are right, my source now is – The History of Private Life III- Philip Aries, but since I haven’t read the whole book (only 200 pages) I don’t want to make any quotes. Hygiene part will come later; still it’s mostly about food, books and religion. However I watch many history documentaries, read and some information that I find are quite reliable.
The fact is that the 18th century wasn’t as romantic as we picture it to be but neither as terrible as it sometimes showed. I will force myself to finish this book as fast as I can (I am studying a lot at this time) so I can share something accurate.

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Thu May 01, 2008 9:14 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
goodie,
i look forward to any information you have!


Thu May 01, 2008 9:42 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
I had finished reading the book History of private life 3 – Philip Aries
(Historie de la vie privee 3. De la Renaissance aux Lumiers) and I want to share some information. First I must say how I’m not satisfied with the things I’ve found out which are related to this subject. However I will share with you some parts of the text that might be interesting to all of us. This book is not belletristic; it is serious work with many examples and sources so there is not a single reason to doubt in its accuracy. You will forgive me for my free translation, it won’t change the meaning of the paragraph but grammatical construction or I may use some synonyms for some words.

...The literature of polite behavior, as for handling with your own and somebody else’s body, require some new shyness, new concern that some body part or body function remain hidden, excretion for example...

“The sin brought us to the need to cover our bodies with clothes”
If we want to avoid going from one sin to another we must “despite everything shown from the outside”

Erasmus (Erasmus – Politeness for children 1530.) brings out peculiar modesty which is “required by the body parts hidden by the natural shyness.” However he makes a difference when the body functions are in question. “Keeping urine in the body is not healthy; it is polite to dispose it”; plus he recommends respecting the privacy of the person who is doing so. Thirty years later Kalvijak (Calviac ?) is stricter: “It is decent that child does not touch it private parts, even in question of need, unless showing hesitation and shame: because that show great modesty and decent.” ………………Clod Ardi in his adaptation of Politeness (1613.) offers different lesson: “Restraining yourself from urinating is bad for your health; but going a side for urinating is something that every child should feel shame about.”……………Here is word about body function low and disgusting.
Kurten “Once it was allowed to spit on the ground in front of gallant persons, it was enough to put your leg on it; now that is indecent. Once you could yawn and it was enough only not to speak while yawning; someone gallant would be stunned by it now.”

From the end of the middle age up to the middle of the 18th century, cleanness which our interrogations discuss goes without water and it neglects the body, beside face and hands, the only parts of body that are showed. The care was focused on the things you could see, on the suit, on the underwear which greatly freshness was the best index. That solution was in line with all said things about demands of modesty. However, in the same time, it was not separated from the general opinion about body which rejects water because it is dangerous force, capable of penetrating everywhere. During the years 1740-1750 water – first hot, than cold – performed spectacular return in the method of keeping clean; indubitably it had showed existence of the new social differences; but in the same time, it had belonged to the new image of the body which goes beyond decent behaviour: hygiene had rehabilited body intimacy and legitimized research for better using of organic resources. At first adopted as a cure, after in school, water will become unseen transmitter of the new way of collective behaviour control.


[color=#FF0080]Antoan de Curten recommends that the spoon we are eating with, we always rub off (clean) before we use it to take the dish from the bowl, because “there are sensitive people who wouldn’t eat the soup any more if you had put the spoon, that you had put in your mouth, in it” He points out how you should be very careful that your napkin doesn’t get so dirty that it looks like kitchen rag, because “ it can be discussing for the people who are watching you while bringing it to your mouth to clean it”

From the day he was born (Louis XIII (1601-1643)) to his 27th birthday Heroard was holding a pen (feather) as his first physician………No other text will show that physician honesty: little body, head and face particularly changed because the bad terms of nourishment, bad nurses’ milk, giving him baby food to early (first was given to him on the 14th of October, he was only 17 days old), poor and unadjusted hygiene. Baby not pleasant to see, that is how little Louis XVIII appears in everyday descriptions of Heroard, with swollen eye-lids, “blemish on the skin” and “lichen” on his face, “leaking” behind his year, “spots”, “mange” (!?) that in January had “covered his whole head like a crown”……………………….However physic hygiene is not satisfying at all, the child was wiped, but did he lave, did he bath at all? In the first year of his life we find the word lave appearing only once, only once the word bathed …………During the following years, beside everyday notice “fixed hair, got dressed”, there are no words about completer hygiene at all. He washes his hands after every meal, on what is referring remark “clean hands”. “The court is incredibly dirty”, writes Philippe Erlanger. In Herorad’s Diary nothing denies this statement.

…. Faeces, hidden in private life, now belong to something secret, shameful, not to talk about…………….


You have no idea how finding these quotes and then translating them was exhausting. I hope you will read them. :)
Few days ago I went with my friend to a book shop and I could find absolutely everything about life in the middle ages but nothing about life in the 18th century. I will become middle ages expert against my will. :roll: I want to know what hygiene improvement in the middle 18th century actually means, some specific information like from Louis XIII doctor. I also want to know about those courtiers peeing on the floor of Versailles which somehow doesn’t match the proposition of modesty above.
:|

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Sat May 10, 2008 11:42 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
Thank you so much! Thank you for putting so much effort into it. I also have that book too ( at the library) there are quite a lot of fascinating reads! :)

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Sun May 11, 2008 12:06 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
I too would like to say thank you for that post, It was very interesing.
also, they told us at Versailles that the public who came to Versailles urinated in the stair wells and corners. they were not invited into the restrooms of the Monarchy or court. Otherwise, the public was allowed in, but there were no facilities for them.

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Sun May 11, 2008 2:55 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
yes this is very true.


Sun May 11, 2008 4:12 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
Prostitutes were allowed as well as long as they didn't "Ply their shameful trade."

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Sun May 11, 2008 4:32 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
You’re welcome. I hope you understood my translation.
At least we know that it couldn’t got worst than during the reign of Louis XIII! :? It is so difficult to find historical books about this subject…

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If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. St. Francis of Assisi


Sun May 11, 2008 10:52 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
yes, but for all of versaqilles flaws it is still the most beautiful palace and place in the world.


Sun May 11, 2008 10:54 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
I agree but I want to know the truth… Pimprenelle do you know something about this (about cleanness of the Versailles and improvement in the 18th century hygiene), you seem like you know a lot?? :)

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Mon May 12, 2008 8:04 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
yes do tell Pim! :=)


Tue May 13, 2008 1:29 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
The court of Maria Theresa seems to me to have been a much more enlightened and progressive one than others in Europe(to some extent), so it is not surprising that MA developed a heightened awareness of her own hygiene!

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Fri May 16, 2008 5:28 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
yes, i agree. Maria theresa did stress hygiene with MA.


Fri May 16, 2008 7:38 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
parties parties drugs alchole parties gossip spending opera ballet paris gossip parties

thats probably what it was like for the nobles

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Sat May 17, 2008 3:49 pm
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