I also wanted to share this clip from a film on Louis XIV by Roberto Rossellini, the great Italian director. In his youth, the monarchy was beset by challenges — from provincial nobles, from the urban law courts, and from the popular classes. These were known as the Fronde. It was the work of his mother and her advisor, Mazarin, to suppress these rebellions and challenges. Louis XIV himself worked to make sure that they wouldn’t reappear.
He did this through new administrators and institutions, but also through a concerted effort to “tame” the nobility. He attracted them to Versailles where they would spend their time and their money in an effort to keep up with the king.
By most accounts it was a patently dull existence at course. Many who were there describe how boring the life of Versailles could be, wathing the king eat, following him around, maneuvering to get close to him, and slavishly following the fashions and protocols of court.