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The gardens of Versailles are perhaps the most famous in the world. Seemingly open to the horizon, their scale is monumental. Their grand east-west axis celebrates the Sun King, even as they offer an expression of the scientific spirit of the age in their geometrical layout and exploitation of the optical properties of reflecting water. The original park design, realized by André Le Nôtre, a few advisers, and Louis XIV himself—author of The Way to Present the Gardens of Versailles—remains largely intact. Yet Louis XV made his own original contribution to the gardens at the Trianon, where later still Richard Mique and Hubert Robert designed the English garden and the delightful village beloved by Marie Antoinette.
Michel Baridon traces the history of the gardens from their inception through three centuries of their history. He stresses the cultural importance of the landscape, provides a chronology to show the stages of its growth, and discusses the contemporary challenges posed by its conservation and historical interpretation. Beautifully illustrated with archival images and commissioned photographs, A History of the Gardens of Versailles provides visitors and enthusiasts with a guide to these legendary grounds.
We live in a tumultuous time. Upheavals and reversals in culture, popular opinion, morality, race relations, socioeconomic status, and so much more have entire generations feeling off balance or out of touch. How do we keep pace with the breathtaking rate of change in our society when we can hardly find time to keep up with our racing newsfeeds? And in the face of such enormous cultural forces, is there anything we can do to help shape our culture?
With America at the Crossroads, bestselling author and cultural analyst George Barna turns his researcher’s eye on the most significant trends of our moment in history, compiling and distilling the most salient information for busy readers who want to shape culture rather than allow it to shape them. Anyone who has felt overwhelmed by our swiftly changing times will appreciate Barna’s extensive research and his “bottom line” approach.