Start Date

9-4-2021 1:30 PM

End Date

9-4-2021 2:45 PM

Disciplines

History

Subjects

Anne Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon (duchesse du Maine : 1676-1753), Nobility -- France -- History, France -- Court and courtiers -- History, France -- History -- Louis XIV (1643-1715), France -- History -- Louis XV (1715-1774), France -- History -- Bourbons (1589-1789)

Description

This paper examines how the French princess Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon, duchesse du Maine (1676–1753), the wife of Louis XIV’s illegitimate son, the duc du Maine, established an exclusive court at her château de Sceaux beginning in the year 1700 that challenged the centralized cultural system of the French monarchical state. Located twenty kilometers away from the rigid and controlling political center of Versailles, the court of the duchesse du Maine subverted social norms by inventing and performing parodies of court protocols, chivalric orders, emblems, and other forms of monarchical imagery. In a time and place where women were both legally and socially barred from holding positions of authority, the duchesse du Maine created a parallel world in which she was the sovereign, presiding over a court of important political, cultural, and intellectual figures, including the philosopher Voltaire. By considering the significance of this subversive court culture in the context of the factional divisions and dynastic crises emerging in the last years of Louis XIV’s reign, this paper will show how the seemingly frivolous aristocratic divertissements of the duchesse du Maine and her circle were informed by political, social, and dynastic ambitions that would culminate in a conspiracy to overthrow the French regent, Philippe d’Orléans, in 1718.

PART OF SESSION 3B. FAMILY AND GENDER:

Comment: Marie Stango, Idaho State University
Chair: Jennifer Kerns, Portland State University

Jordan D. Hallmark, Portland State University, graduate student
“Parody, Performance, and Conspiracy in Early Eighteenth-Century France: The Subversive Court of Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon, Daughter-in-Law of the Sun King (1700–1718)”

Richard Merrell, Seattle University, undergraduate student
“The Kings Have Daddy Issues: Masculinity and Generational Kingship of the Plantagenet Dynasty”

Amanda Mills, Western Washington University, undergraduate student
“Before Menstruation: The Upholding and Downfall of Child Marriage in India”

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35229

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Apr 9th, 1:30 PM Apr 9th, 2:45 PM

Parody, Performance, and Conspiracy in Early Eighteenth-Century France: The Subversive Court of Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon, Daughter-in-Law of the Sun King (1700–1718)

This paper examines how the French princess Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon, duchesse du Maine (1676–1753), the wife of Louis XIV’s illegitimate son, the duc du Maine, established an exclusive court at her château de Sceaux beginning in the year 1700 that challenged the centralized cultural system of the French monarchical state. Located twenty kilometers away from the rigid and controlling political center of Versailles, the court of the duchesse du Maine subverted social norms by inventing and performing parodies of court protocols, chivalric orders, emblems, and other forms of monarchical imagery. In a time and place where women were both legally and socially barred from holding positions of authority, the duchesse du Maine created a parallel world in which she was the sovereign, presiding over a court of important political, cultural, and intellectual figures, including the philosopher Voltaire. By considering the significance of this subversive court culture in the context of the factional divisions and dynastic crises emerging in the last years of Louis XIV’s reign, this paper will show how the seemingly frivolous aristocratic divertissements of the duchesse du Maine and her circle were informed by political, social, and dynastic ambitions that would culminate in a conspiracy to overthrow the French regent, Philippe d’Orléans, in 1718.

PART OF SESSION 3B. FAMILY AND GENDER:

Comment: Marie Stango, Idaho State University
Chair: Jennifer Kerns, Portland State University

Jordan D. Hallmark, Portland State University, graduate student
“Parody, Performance, and Conspiracy in Early Eighteenth-Century France: The Subversive Court of Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon, Daughter-in-Law of the Sun King (1700–1718)”

Richard Merrell, Seattle University, undergraduate student
“The Kings Have Daddy Issues: Masculinity and Generational Kingship of the Plantagenet Dynasty”

Amanda Mills, Western Washington University, undergraduate student
“Before Menstruation: The Upholding and Downfall of Child Marriage in India”