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Book competition

15 June 2018

This week’s book competition prize is Visitors to Versailles From Louis XIV to the French Revolution edited by Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide and Bertrand Rondot
(Metropolitan Museum of Art; £50). Click here to enter.

What was it like to visit one of the most magnificent courts of Europe? Based on a wealth of contemporary documents and surviving works of art, this lavish book explores the experiences of those who flocked to the palace and grounds of Versailles when it was the seat of the French monarchy. Engaging essays describe methods of transportation, the elaborate codes of dress and etiquette, precious diplomatic gifts, royal audiences, and tours of the buildings and gardens. Also presented are the many types of visitors and guests who eagerly made their way to this centre of power and culture, including day-trippers and Grand Tourists, European diplomats, overseas ambassadors, incognito travelers, and Americans.

Through paintings and portraits, furniture, tapestries, carpets, costumes and uniforms, porcelain, gold boxes, sculpture, arms and armour, engravings, and guidebooks, Visitors to Versailles illuminates what travellers encountered at court and what impressions, gifts, and souvenirs they took home with them. Versailles continues to impress millions of tourists today just as it enchanted generations of ancien régime visitors, whose experiences are brought to life in this sumptuously illustrated volume.

Answer the following question, by 12 pm on 29 June, to win a copy of Visitors to Versailles From Louis XIV to the French Revolution edited by Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide, Bertrand Rondot (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Q: Which landscape architect laid out the gardens of Versailles?

For our last competition prize we offered Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World edited by Jeffrey Spier, Timothy Potts, and Sara E. Cole
(Getty Publications). The question was:

Q: Which dynasty ruled Egypt for nearly 300 years after the death of Alexander the Great?

Answer: The Ptolemies