Territorial Ambitions and the Gardens of Versailles

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Overview

In Louis XIV's France, land took on new importance for the politics and court life. A sequestered aristocracy promenaded in formal gardens while the military moved across the landscape, marking state boundaries with fortresses and refiguring the interior with canals and forests. Chandra Mukerji highlights the connections between the seemingly disparate activities of engineering and garden design, showing how the gardens at Versailles showcased French skills in using nature and art to design a distinctively French landscape and create a naturalized political territoriality.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a masterful deconstructionist study, in which careful contextual analysis allows for reconstruction of the political world that Louis created over the course of his reign....a major accomplishment." Choice

"...brilliant and beautifully presented..." Robert Forster, Jrnl of Interdisciplinary History

"Territorial Ambitions should be of interest not only to social theorists but also to others intersted in exploring relations between people and the built environment, as builders and as inhabitants." Lisa A. Pellerin, Contemporary Sociology

"What is territorial policy, and does it have a history? Chandra Mukerji makes a bold effort to pose and answer these questions..." Josef W. Konvitz, American Historical Review

"Territorial Ambitions is provocative, original, and striking for the sophistication of its argument, its breadth of evidence, and its novelty of associations." Claudia Lazzaro, Technology and Culture

"In a marvelously well-illustrated book, based on an impressive mastery of technical literatures on everything from fountain building to tapestry weaving, Mukerji reveals the many different ways in which the gardens served as arenas for Louis XIV's ambitious attempts to remake his state." David S. Bell, American Journal of Sociology

"Territorial Ambitions is probably the most ambitious and original study of seventeenth-century France in the service of a sociological argument to be published since Norbert Elias's book on the court society." Peter Burke, Journal of Modern History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521599597
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Series: Cambridge Cultural Social Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 393
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgments
Glossary of French terms
1 The culture of land and the territorial state 1
2 Military ambitions and territorial gardens 39
3 Material innovation and cultural identity 98
4 Techniques of material mobilization 147
5 Social choreography and the politics of place 198
6 Naturalizing power in the new state 248
7 A history of material power 300
Notes 339
References 369
Index 383
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