Friday, February 3, 2012

The Affair of the Minuet

From History and Other Thoughts:
Life at Versailles was rigidly regulated by complicated and stifling rules of etiquette, which prescribed what the nobility, based on their ranks and position, could and couldn't do. Marie Antoinette may have hated all these rules but the nobility, jealous of their privileges, were capable of making a huge fuss out of the most insignificant thing when they felt their "rights" where threatened or ignored. In his book, Domestic anecdotes of the French nation during the last thirty years, Isaac Disraeli shares one of these petty squabbles, which happened at a ball to celebrate the wedding of the dauphin Louis with the archduchess Marie Antoinette...(Read entire post.)


The North Coast said...

I always sympathized with poor Antoinette in her brushes with fabled absurd French court etiquette.

One famous business writer remarked that when your employees have time to get into "turf" battles at the office, and disputes over small slights such as this, they clearly don't have enough to do, and the tragic quarrels over trivial slights and breaches of etiquette, like this matter of the Minuet, are the sort of disputes that only really spoiled, pampered people with way too much idle time on their hands and no real job to do in life, could get involved in. Sad that these people had no struggle in life no more urgent than this in an era in which 85% of the population had to struggle to keep a decent set of clothes on its back and mostly failed at it.

Gio said...

Thanks for linking to my post, I really appreciate it!