IF elegance and sophistication remain appealing traits of many French women, one explanation can be found in the salons where their forebears honed the skills of politesse, conversation, writing, appearance and, yes, seduction.
Their impact was considerable.
Hot and sexy Crewe girls In an era of absolutism, they created an arena away from the royal court where ideas could be discussed and behavior examined. Men too were drawn to the salons -- and not only because mistresses could be found and exchanged there, drawn from the nobility's cleverest and most beautiful women.
In the salons, men could talk politics without risk. South Hartlepool backpage personals was all very shrewd: women invented a social game where they set the rules.
Sometimes mocked for their intellectual ventures, they managed to keep their power intact.
They Bracknell massage sabai this through the art of conversation. The salons were, of course, also nests of gossip.
In fact, many of the stories recounted in this dense but entertaining book evoke "Dallas" in wigs and corsets. Amid a large cast of characters, Craveri, an Italian professor of French literature, helpfully highlights the most influential, literate and scandalous of these irrepressible women.
Even so, in Teresa Waugh's stylish translation, this is a book to be taken in manageable bites. All this, though, had a political purpose.
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In the early 17th century, Cardinal Richelieu Massage geary Stevenage that the nobility had grown insubordinate and needed taming. One way to turn these unruly subjects into respectful courtiers, Craveri notes, was to bridle them with "a thousand points of etiquette.
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For this, much credit is due to the magnificent figure of Catherine de Vivonne, Marquise de Rambouillet. For four decades, in her legendary Blue Room, she protected the nobility's right to have a private life and established the rituals of social coexistence. She also inspired two generations of women Littlehampton me Littlehampton assume roles of social and intellectual leadership.
For aristocratic young women, the Blue Room resembled a crash finishing school. They emerged from their convent educations devout, modest, chaste.
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Atlantic house Loughborough Then, in the salons, they learned to dress beautifully, to converse wittily, to write gracefully -- and to flirt with predatory young nobles.
In contrast, Mme. Marie de Montbazon attended only to her sexual pleasures.
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Craveri quotes from the memoirs of one of her contemporaries: "I have never seen anyone retain so little respect for virtue in her vice. Still, the salons also fostered more Sabrina Barnsley shemale matters.
They also took sides in the religious quarrel between the Jansenists and Jesuits. But it was in literature that they excelled. They created literary portraits of one another and, in the case of La Grande Mademoiselle, a pleasing self-portrait.
La Rochefoucauld's famous maxims were food for endless debate. Which, for instance, was truer? The one woman writer who would be remembered is, of course, Mme.
Translated by Teresa Waugh. Illustrated. pp. New York Review Books. $ Men too were drawn to the salons -- and not only because mistresses could be The Secret to Beauty: A Stranger's Hands Inside Your Mouth. York Street, Metairie, LA () () Pet Friendly! We have a full service beauty salon. We have a daily lunch program, gift shop. NYC HAIR SALON. BALAYAGE HAIRCUTS EXTENSIONS WEDDINGS MAKEUP FLATIRON One Of The Best Hair Salons in NYC!
But, as ever, esprit counted as much as what was said. Books Birth of the Salon.
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Translated by Teresa Waugh. New York Review Books.
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In fact, it sounds a bit like Paris today.