Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Palace of Versailles

I've always been fascinated by history. I can still remember watching Ben Hur and various documentaries with my father growing up. We were (I am still) museum junkies. I visited my first castle when I was eight. I do research for fun. On Mother's Day I sat and watched a two-hour long documentary on the plague.

That being said... I'm going to start a castle series on this blog! Today's the start, and I'm going to introduce you to the very first castle I was ever introduced to, the Palace of Versailles. Versailles is a magical place. Its beauty, grandeur, architecture, history, all of it combined pull you into an enchanted world. Gold and marble drip from every facet. Paintings grace the domed ceilings. Graceful and lifelike statues dot the premises, and the lines of the gardens are so precise!

Versailles is located in...Versaille, France--a suburb of Paris. The village of Versailles has been noted as far back as the 11th century, however Louis XIII didn't build a home there--a hunting lodge---until 1624. His successor Louis XIV expanded it into a palace. The palace remained the seat of the French royals until the French Revolution, when the people stormed the palace, pillaging and destroying many relics. You might recall the two famous royals at the time: Queen Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. Both were eventually executed.

Of course, when Napoleon came to power, he too had to live in the magnificence that is Versailles.

Here are some pictures/portraits of Versailles...

The inner courtyard.

Map of the Gardens and Palace in 1746
Painting of the palace and gardens

Bassin de Latone -- a fountain. See the canal in the background?
When I was a child and visited Versailles, they had the fountain running. It was glorious.

The orangerie in the gardens of Versailles. 

My favorite place in the palace--the hall of mirrors! I would have loved to dance here!

My heroine in A LADY'S CHARADE, spent time in France as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Isabeau. While the time period wasn't quite right for me to include Versailles, I made sure to put a tiny bit of my love of the French culture into my heroine.

From across a field of battle, English knight, Alexander, Lord Hardwyck, spots the object of his desire—and his conquest, Scottish traitor Lady Chloe. 

Her lies could be her undoing…

Abandoned across the border and disguised for her safety, Chloe realizes the man who besieged her home in Scotland has now become her savior in England. Her life in danger, she vows to keep her identity secret, lest she suffer his wrath, for he wants her dead. 

Or love could claim them both and unravel two countries in the process…

Alexander suspects Chloe is not who she says she is and has declared war on the angelic vixen who's laid claim to his heart. A fierce battle of the minds it will be, for once the truth is revealed they will both have to choose between love and duty.

Available at Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Apple I-Books / Smashwords

Right now there is a contest giveaway for a printed signed copy of A LADY'S CHARADE at Goodreads!

Don't forget to check back next week for another castle installment!


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