Sunday, March 31, 2013

My new best friend Kindle

When Bobby gave me the newer version of Kindle I did not think I would get so engrossed in it.
I loved the old version to some extent

This time around I hardly have been watching TV at all except for the news and I should truly stop doing that.

I now read the 15 volumes of Memoirs of Louis XIV by the duc de Saint Simon.

Lately I have read a lot more about history ,something which is a surprise most of all to myself. I really wanted to know more details of the different Louis's and what happened in the courts.
Duc de Saint Simon was in and out of these places and decided to write with great detail about them.
At first I thought I was reading a phone book of the French nobility. I could not remember one name
from the other, I almost gave up. Slowly the whole picture came into mind. After awhile you really wonder why the King kept it a secret that indeed he had married Mme de Maintenon but never made her queen.
After he dies she mostly just faded into solitude. She had been the instrument of many changes both good and bad in the politics of that period. And then there were the Princes of the blood and the bastard children...keep track of all that too while you picture the wigs the haute coiffure, laces, plumes, etc...

I found a lot of similarities to today, guess we are really not learning from one generation to another.
There was a lot of back stabbing in the ranks. A lot of lying. Filling the pockets. Desiring titles.
Famine due to bad weather, poverty due to taxation.
Church people even Cardinals marrying and hiding the paperwork and the wife. Many mistresses with power. Many memories being built for us to admire now , such as Versailles.
Even so there was not that much of an advancement in medicine, many of them survived in their 80's and even 90's. Despite the many excuses for dining a "volonte" and then the wines.....
Gambling was a daily affair in the court. By the time the King died he had already lost a lot of relatives mostly to poison.  

So when I finished volume 15 I did not regret reading all of this stuff but I did regret that I did not read it in French.
This afternoon I did find a book of reviews on the duc and I started to read that one in French.
My heart was aching for the next phrase and paragraphs.
This is such a lovely language and I did not forget a word of it, I was amazed. Some old French of course but still I could make it all out.
Now when I do my scrabble tonight it will be hard to think "English" again!!!!!!!!!!

S. recommended me to read "Half Broke Horses" by Jeannette Walls, I am glad I did take her up on it. Ready for her other one to read and one coming out in June 2013.

Maybe tonight I will  get a movie from Amazon and give it up for the rest of Easter Sunday.

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