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Servants of the DynastyPalace Women in World History$
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Anne Walthall

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254435

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254435.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Women of Versailles, 1682–1789

Women of Versailles, 1682–1789

(p.191) 10 Women of Versailles, 1682–1789
Servants of the Dynasty

Kathryn Norberg

University of California Press

Versailles is one of the most written about palaces on earth, but we know more about the women of the palace at Edo or Aceh than we do about the ladies of Louis XIV's chateau. In France, nobles tended to employ more male than female servants, and royalty was no exception. This chapter explores some of the commonalities of the Versailles palace women and points to gender patterns that characterized life at Versailles. It examines how a woman's sex dictated her life chances within the great palace and how sex was in turn used by the monarch to extend his dominion over the royal court. It considers how many women occupied the palace, how they were recruited, what work they performed in the palace, what positions of authority palace life provided, whether these positions were equal or whether they were inferior to those offered to men, and how the gender arrangements in Versailles advanced the monarch's rule.

Keywords:   Versailles, palace women, gender, sex, authority, monarch, France, nobles, servants, royal court

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