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Duc De Saint Simon And The Court Of Louis Xiv

537 words - 3 pages

In 1746 Duc de Saint Simon finished work on his "Memoirs". In this document he gave a detailed account of life in Versailles under the king Louis XIV. Saint-Simon described Louis XIV as a man whose "natural talents were below mediocrity". He claimed that Louis made up for his natural shortcomings by affiliating himself with the most proficient people of both sexes in all areas. According to Saint-Simon Louis XIV real talent was that he was able to "assimilate what was best in the minds of others without slavish imitation". In Saint-Simon's document he states that Louis XIV greatest weakness was his vanity. This love of being flattered often caused Louis to "engage in serious wars"; for he was ...view middle of the document...

It was not until 1682 that Louis XIV officially moved his court from Paris to Versailles. The motives behind him moving his court were mainly due to security issues. Louis did not feel safe in Paris due to a series of revolts against the monarchy known as the Fronde, also being away from the large crowds in Paris allowed him to keep a more watchful eye on the member of his court. By removing himself from the city he could more easily detect "the movements and temporary absences of any of … members" (Saint-Simon). According to S&S Louis striped the member of his court of their powers and reduced them to mere "court butterflies" (451). He instilled "a complex system of etiquette and favoritism" the promoted conspiring in order to obtain "gifts, patronage, and position" amongst those who stayed at Versailles (S&S 451). According to Saint-Simon Louis XIV "took great pains to find out what was going on in public places" and he had great deal of spies floating around. Saint-Simon speaks about how many men of different ranks were ruined due to stories reported back to the king from his spies. He stated that "when the king had taken prejudice against a man, he hardly ever got over it. Duc de Saint-Simons "Memoirs" serve as one of the most innovative testimonials of French literature, chronicling the reign of Louis XIV in such vivid detail. His 40 volume "Memoirs" gave future generations incite as to what it was to live t Versailles under Louis XIV, the "Sun King".

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