Apr 03

The Splendid Century: The Age of Louis XIV

Lynda Harper Kelly, Ph.D.

The French nostalgically refer to the 17th century as the Grand Siècle, a golden age when the language, literature, art, and culture of France were pre-eminent in all of Europe. The reign of Louis XIV was a period of extraordinary blossoming of the arts. The king patronized artists in all fields and in supporting them, he contributed to his own glory. He created the château and gardens of Versailles to serve as a gigantic stage for a play celebrating his glory and adopted as his personal emblem Apollo, the god of the sun, a potent symbol for the power and grandeur of a deified king. Versailles was the new Olympus, peopled by the gods and goddesses of the court with the Sun King ruling over them all and the most powerful nation in Europe.

“I taught this course back in 2001. Since then, I have visited Versailles many more times, taken more photos, and read more about the period of the reign of Louis XIV. I would therefore revise and update the course I taught before. This has always been one of my favorite periods of French history and literature. As a matter of fact, when I go for walks, I often listen to recordings of plays by Molière.” - Lynda Kelly

This course will cover the reign of Louis XIV, the palace and gardens of Versailles, life at the court, and the principal artists of the period. Suggested (optional) readings: Tartuffe by Molière (translation by Richard Wilbur) & Madame de Sévigné Selected Letters (Penguin Classics).

Six-Week Course Schedule | Wednesdays
Apr 03 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Apr 10 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Apr 17 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Apr 24 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
May 01 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
May 08 | 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

This class will be held in-person at WIH and simulcast via Zoom



Class Tuition

31 in stock

Price is per student. Class tuition is non-refundable.