Jenny La Fleur
setting my sights on the 17th century - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
setting my sights on the 17th century
I've been on a 17th century kick the last few weeks, for which I blame bauhausfrau - evil woman!. It started with her shoes and ideas for a mistresses of Charles II tableau at Costume Con '09. Then on a whim I bought a CD of Purcell music from Amazon. Next I found an audio book of Antonia Frasier’s Love & Louis: the women of in the life of the sun king at the library and have been listening to that all week. Yesterday while browsing Border's (for something else) I picked up another CD, Grandes Eaux Musicales de Versailles: music of Louis XIII & Louis XIV. I got home to discover that it was actually a few dollars cheaper at Borders than online, pretty cool.

None of this is helping my resolution to not drop all my other projects and make a 17th century gown, like right now. No, I'm not suffering from costuming ADD, not at all! *rolls eyes*

The former CD (listening to it as I type) is fun. The booklet is wonderfully pretty and the pieces remind me a lot of the music in the 1970's Three Musketeers. I'm really loving my Purcell CD as well. There are a few choral type pieces that get on my nerves after a while but on the whole I really like it. The recording of Dido's Lament (one of my favorite arias) is very nice indeed.

The Frasier book was very interesting, as it traced not just the mistresses and flings of Louis XIV but all the influential women in his life, including his mother, daughters and daughters-in-law. I didn't realize until I got to end that it was an abridged version I'd been listening too so now of course I want the "real" version. Amazon has a download version that isn't too pricey... someday I really must break down and buy some form of portable MP3 player.

I'm thinking I should read a book on Charles II next - any recommendations? Also did you go see Moliere last night bauhausfrau? How was it?


17 comments | comment?
joysdaughter From: joysdaughter Date: September 26th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC) (link)
Maurice Ashley ""Charles ll" possibly out of print, published 1973 by Panther(paperback)/1971 Weidenfeld and Nicholson(Hardback) - no ISBN number - sorry. Barbara Cartland "The Private Lives of Charles ll" - more "romantic" than serious, but the facts are there. 0 552 09536 2
Dennis Wheatley "Old Rowley" A very private life of Charles ll. 09 001 400 6
Fiction "The Child from the Sea" by Elizabeth Goudge ISBN 0 340 15624 4

All from my shelves.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: September 29th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC) (link)
Cool - thanks! :>
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: September 26th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC) (link)
I read a really good one on Catherine of Braganza (Charles II's wife) by Jean Plaidy. It's historical fiction though. But she's got a good reputation. I'm not sure it's even in print anymore! I have to try and think of the title. She also wrote a good one about Charles I and Henrietta Maria...
joysdaughter From: joysdaughter Date: September 26th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC) (link)
The Wandering Prince/A Health unto his Majesty/Here Lies our Sovereign Lord

What makes you think I read a lot on Charles? - they're on my bookshelf too!
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: September 26th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks for catching those! I love Jean Plaidy! :-)
joysdaughter From: joysdaughter Date: September 26th, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC) (link)
I used to read everything she wrote - but not for a while. When I have read the several piles of books next to my bed, I'll have to start on her again.
tailordrews From: tailordrews Date: September 26th, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC) (link)
What a lovely post! I full heartedly know how you are feeling about the 17th century two - the music two. I have a lot of cd's with french baroque music from the time of louis XIV, and it all came from a series of radio programmes some years ago they sended about louis and his music at Versailles.
I must recomend you some DVD's
Unfortunately only in french and you can have it at amazon france its "l'Allé du Roi" wich is a doubble DVD and its about Madame de Maintenons life. The other is Molliere by Teatre du Solleil.
An english one would be " Charles II the power and the passion.
Another french is "Le Roi Danse" and "Louix Infante Roi".
I cant waite to see your baroque dress..............

bauhausfrau From: bauhausfrau Date: September 26th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC) (link)
Le Roi Danse is actually available in the US now, hooray!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: September 29th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC) (link)
Oh wonderful - thank you so much!
my_stitching From: my_stitching Date: September 26th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC) (link)
Last year I read "Court Lady and Country Wife" which is a true story about two sisters who lived during the 17th century. It isn't a novel, but it reads sort of like one. There are some dry spots that you wouldn't get from a novel, but everything told in the book is taken from letters and other documents. It is a really good look at court life in the time of Charles I.

Here is the amazon page, I hope the link works:

Have you seen the miniseries "The Aristocrats?" It is of a later period, but the costumes are amazing. It follows the grandchildren of Charles II and one of his mistresses. Absolute costume droolfest!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: September 29th, 2007 02:43 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks! Oh yes, I got the Aristocrats for Christmas last year - I adore it! I always get sacque lust when I watch it. That and watching all the lovely hair and feathers wafting about makes me very happy. :>
bauhausfrau From: bauhausfrau Date: September 26th, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC) (link)
I've got a few on my bookshelf... ;-)

There is a recent Biography of Nell Gwynn by Charles Beauclerk an ancestor of hers, which I didn't care for that much, a little too fawning on Nell. There is an out of print bio of Lady castlemaine, another one of Chas II's many mistresses, called "The Illustrious Lady" that seems pretty good altho a tad dry. I have but have not yet read a bio of Charles II by Antonia Frasier that's gotten great reviews. The Diary of Samuel Pepys is a read 1st person account of the period. You can read it online here:

One totally silly but actually worthwhile fiction book is Forever Amber. Think of it as Gone with the Wind a la Chas II - a spirited heroine who messes up her life chasing a worthless guy. BUT, the author was helping her husband research the time period for a history book he was writing on Charles II so the scenes, clothes, what they ate, plays they went to, etc are all very vividly rendered and perhaps even a tad authentic.

Thanks for the music recommendations btw.

Oh and I really enjoyed Moliere. Beautiful costumes, good acting, nice romantic story and oddly cute Moliere. If you're unfamiliar with his plays you'll miss some jokes but one of our number who went and hadn't seen any still enjoyed it.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: September 29th, 2007 03:00 am (UTC) (link)
Ooh thanks for the recommendations and the review of Moliere! I haven't seen any of his plays, do you know if any are availible on DVD? Thanks again!
bauhausfrau From: bauhausfrau Date: September 30th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC) (link)
I don't know about on DVD. The one to see if you can only see one is Moliere.

I did think of another book for you - Athenais by Lisa Hilton. Athenais was one of Louis XIV's mistresses and the bio of her has gotten a lot of good reviews including one from Antonia Frasier.
elegant_musings From: elegant_musings Date: September 27th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC) (link)
Do I sense a new costume brewing in your imagination? ;) Frankly, I think it would be lovely if you did give into this urge and made a 17th century gown! I think its a lovely, underrepresented period. :)

No recommendations; sorry. History prior to about 1720 has never been my forte... unfortunately! Oh, and thank you for the music recommendation; I've been hunting around for some new things to listen to while I work!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: September 29th, 2007 03:03 am (UTC) (link)
Yes indeed, can you sense the disturbance from yonder there?! :> I'm getting more and more intrigued with the idea of this costume... I even have the perfect fabric. You are most welcome! New music is always good, and budget-friendly CDs even more so! :>
bauhausfrau From: bauhausfrau Date: September 30th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC) (link)
Ooo, I'm psyched to hear what you have in mind! I too have something in the works. I'm thinking Costume Con 09 (or dare I say it, Costume College?) is looking better and better for the 17th Century!
17 comments | comment?