QUEEN'S EMBROIDERER: A True Story of Paris, LoversJOAN DEJEAN Book Number: 85897 Product format: Hardback
The royal embroiderer of the title is Jean Magoulet, a gainier or maker of leather goods who was appointed royal glove supplier to the French Queen Marie Thérèse and King Louis XIV and who then somehow in 1678 became the Queen's Embroiderer, possibly without formal training. What is certain is that Magoulet's intense family pride gave him ambitions for his daughter Louise, whose story is at the heart of this fascinating and well-researched dynastic saga. Meanwhile another family was making its way up the Parisian social hierarchy, the Chevrots, whose upward mobility came from managing the royal finances. Antoine Chevrot was the first of the family to live in Paris, investing in a house in the newly fashionable Marais district, while Magoulet rented an aristocratic townhouse in the Ile de Paris. Around this time the French court was moving to Versailles and reckless spending was in fashion, with a financial crash just round the corner. Chevrot got into debt and Magoulet began to bring prostitutes home and beat his wife, who took the courageous step of leaving him and depriving him of her share of their income. Chevrot, like Magoulet, had hopes that his offspring Louis would make an advantageous marriage, but fate decreed otherwise when Louis and Louise fell in love. Magoulet attempted to deport his troublesome child, claiming she was a prostitute and thief, but the couple escaped to London to get married. Louise took on Magoulet, Chevrot, the police, an army regiment, and the French Indies Company to stay with the man she loved. Their happiness was short-lived, and their story makes fascinating reading. Here are the families 1600 to Revolution in 1798, the sordid cells of the Bastille, Louisiana territory where French women were sent to marry colonists by force and high finance in rue Quincampoix. 375pp, colour illustrations. Remainder mark.
Published price: £30
Bibliophile price: £10.00
Bibliophile price: £9.00