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Territorial Ambitions & the Gardens of Versaillesby Chandra Mukerji
Synopses & Reviews
In Louis XIV's France, land took on new importance in politics and court life. A sequestered aristocracy promenaded in formal gardens while the military moved across the landscape, marking state boundaries with fortresses and refiguring the interior with canals and forests. Chandra Mukerji highlights the connections between the seemingly disparate activities of engineering and garden design, showing how the gardens at Versailles showcased French skills in using nature and art to design a distinctively French landscape and create a naturalized political territoriality.
Chandra Mukerji challenges the association of state power with socials structures alone in a fascinating cultural analysis of how Louis XIV used Versailles to equate lawlike land control with the order of nature, showcasing distinctively French skills and design in a formal paralleling of military feats of engineering.
Cultural/historical sociologist links design and engineering at Versailles to displays of state power.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 369-382) and index.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Glossary of French terms; 1. The culture of land and the territorial state; 2. Military ambitions and territorial gardens; 3. Material innovation and cultural identity; 4. Techniques of material mobilization; 5. Social choreography and the politics of place; 6. Naturalizing power in the new state; 7. A history of material power; Notes; References; Index.
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History and Social Science » Sociology » General