The vivid story of the creation, renovation, and enduring legacy of the most famous building in France: the palace of Versailles
Nothing represents the glorious and fraught history of France quite like the Palace of Versailles. Made famous by the absolutist king Louis XIV, Versailles became legendary for the splendor of its revels-but then, after the Revolution of 1789, it fell into disrepute as a reminder of royal excess and abuse of power. Subsequent French governments struggled with how to handle the opulent palace and grounds-should the site be memorialized, trivialized, rehabilitated, or even destroyed outright?
Drawing on a new wave of recent research, historian Colin Jones masterfully traces the evolution of Versailles as a space of royal politics and aristocratic pleasures, a building of mythic status, and one of the world’s great tourist destinations. Accessible and compelling, this book is a must-read for all Francophiles.