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Fashion beyond Versailles

Consumption and Design in Seventeenth-Century France

168 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / 14 b&w illustrations

ebook available

French History

  Hardcover / 9780807145210 / June 2012

As the epicenters of style and innovation, the cities of Paris and Versailles dominate studies of consumerism in seventeenth-century France, but little scholarship exists on the material culture, fashion, and consumption patterns in the provinces. Donna J. Bohanan’s Fashion beyond Versailles fills this historiographical gap by examining the household inventories of French nobles and elites in the southern province of Dauphiné.

Much more than a simple study of the decorative arts, Fashion beyond Versailles investigates the meaning of material ownership. By examining postmortem registries and archival publications, Bohanan reveals the social imperatives, local politics, and high fashion trends that spurred the consumption patterns of provincial communities.
In doing so, she reveals a closer relationship between consumer behavior of Versailles and the provinces than most historians have maintained. Far-reaching in its sociological and psychological implications, Fashion beyond Versailles both makes use of and contributes to the burgeoning literature on material culture, fashion, and consumption.

Donna J. Bohanan is the Joseph A. Kicklighter Professor of History at Auburn University. She is the author of Old and New Nobility in Aix-en-Provence, 1600–1695 and Crown and Nobility in Early Modern France.

Praise for Fashion beyond Versailles

“[A] fine new book....Fashion beyond Versailles is a model study.”—Jonathan Dewald, Historian

“The book makes a valuable contribution to our knowledge of seventeenth-century customs in the provinces.”—Nicholas Hammond, French Studies

“A well-researched and fascinated read.”—Lois Vines, French Review

“Bohanan’s able treatment of these subjects draws on important and recent scholarship from a variety of disciplines....a compact, clear, and well-referenced book of interest to scholars of material culture.”—1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries of the Early Modern Era

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