Wednesday, 11 April 2012

New books: Versailles

Versailles is arguably the most famous palace in the world. The name itself symbolises not only a palace, an estate and a town, but a way of life, a régime and an historical epoch. Today visitors come in their hundreds of thousands or their millions, making Versailles one of France’s foremost tourist attractions.
Needless to say there is a vast literature on Versailles, yet Valérie Bajou’s splendid new book Versailles, published in France last year and now in an English translation by Abrams of New York, is a valuable addition to the bibliography on Versailles.
Through nearly 500 abundantly illustrated pages the book tells the story of the palace, the artworks, the gardens, the park, the Trianons and the museum – and the changing faces of Versailles. In doing so, the book also reminds the reader how little one actually gets to see when visiting Versailles as a tourist. The texts are rather short, but there are hundreds of mostly good photos and the captions provide details about the artworks pictured.
As such this is a book which can be heartily recommended both as a supplement to a visit to Versailles and as a consolation to those unable to go there.


  1. Greetings from France!

    I see you are a francophile, so why don´t you start a French course right now??
    You told me 10 years ago you would start one...

    Alberto Penna Rodrigues

    1. No, I have never said I "would start one", but that I might do so one day. Until now I have not had the time.


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