Synopses & Reviews
What makes fashionistas willing to pay a small fortune for a particular designer accessory? Why does a special occasion only become really special when a champagne cork pops? Why are diamonds the status symbol gemstone, instantly signifying wealth, power, and even emotional commitment? andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Writing with great and#233;lan, one of the foremost authorities on seventeenth-century French culture provides the answer to these and other fascinating questions in her account of how, at one glittering moment in history, the French under Louis XIV set the standards of sophistication, style, and glamour that still rule our lives today. Joan DeJean takes us back to the birth of haute cuisine, the first appearance of celebrity hairdressers, chic cafand#233;s, nightlife, and fashion in elegant dress that extended well beyond the limited confines of court circles. And Paris was the magical center -- the destination of travelers all across Europe. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Full of wit, dash, and verve, andlt;iandgt;The Essence of Styleandlt;/iandgt; will delight fans of history and everybody who wonders about the elusive definition of good taste.
"An enormously readable and civilized book that reveals, in fascinating detail, some of the reasons for the French superiority complex." -- Peter Mayle, author of andlt;iandgt;A Year in Provenceandlt;/iandgt;
"An enormously readable and civilized book that reveals, in fascinating detail, some of the reasons for the French superiority complex."
-- Peter Mayle, author of A Year in Provence
"Effervescent . . . sparkling . . . packed with savory tidbits." -- andlt;iandgt;The New York Timesandlt;/iandgt;
Writing with great elan, DeJean explains how the glittering world of Louis XIV set the standards of sophistication, style, and glamour that still rule today's lifestyles.
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Joan DeJean,andlt;/Bandgt; author of seven previous books on French literature, history, and culture during the reign of Louis XIV, is Trustee Professor of French at the University of Pennsylvania, where she has taught for the past fifteen years. She has also held positions at both Princeton and Yale. Bicultural, she shuttles regularly between her homes in Philadelphia and Paris, with her finger on the pulse of both venues.