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Versailles: A Private Invitation Hardcover – October 11, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Francis Hammond’s photographs have been published in Mariage Frères French Tea (2003) and Elegant Entertaining (2009) and in lifestyle magazines such as Elle Décor and Martha Stewart Living. Béatrix Saule is chief curator and director of the research center at the Château de Versailles.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Flammarion (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2080200763
  • ISBN-13: 978-2080200761
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.6 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book really put Versailles in some of the most intimate point of view. I read and collected many books on Versailles, including the quintessential book of Versailles by Gerald van der Kemp, but much has change to the edifice since that publication. This book shows Versailles in present condition, including the restored Cour de Marbre. Although it would be almost impossible to cover the whole chateau in one book, this book gave a significant examples of Versailles past glories including some of the intimate touch that makes the place more humane, especially the artifacts of Marie Antoinette, the ill fated queen. It is well worth the price for book of such calibre. The pictures are breathtakingly stunning. The best picture book of Versailles today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The photos in this beautiful volume are indeed exquisite, and are gorgeously captured. Many are of a more intimate scale than those taken with the expansive grandeur and wide framing we are used to from other books on Versailles. Although I agree with other reviewers that I had hoped to see at least some photos of the rarely-seen private areas -- parts of the palace that are not on public view . . . I was still exceedingly happy with the intimate feeling and exceptional quality of this book. Photos in extreme close-up capture fantastic details . . . a section of parquet floor where the heel marks of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette can almost still be seen; the breathtaking adornments of the gilded crown of Marie Antoinette's harp; shots showing the miraculous detail of furniture ornamentation, attesting to the never-again-equalled artistry of ébénistes like David Roentgen and Jean Henri Riesener, Marie Antoinette's favorite cabinet-makers; close-ups of marquetry, leather books, porcelain, silver, crystal, bronze, gold, gilt, fabric, and other small details . . . all adding up to reveal the human scale of Versailles . . . and reminding us that it was, in fact, not just a palace but also a home. (Albeit, the most opulent one in the world!)

My only real complaint is that the translation from the original French text into English is sometimes clumsily done. I would guess that I am way more familiar with Versailles than the average reader . . . I have read dozens of books about the palace and its history, and I have actually toured Versailles in person on numerous occasions, including privately-led special-study tours.
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Format: Hardcover
The book is a beautiful volume covering many of the principal spaces of the chateau. The photography is magnificently beautiful. The text is written in vignettes with related photos in a broad scope and in detailed shots. I would have liked to have seen more of the obscure seldom seen anterooms and chambers. I also wished for comprehensive exterior shots of the principal facades. Overall, a wonderful volume on Versailles. Well worth the price.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is beautiful, informative and would make a lovely table book. I thought the photos were wonderful and the desription and history very informative. What I was disappointed in was that there was little info on the "back" rooms. I was looking forward to seeing and reading more about those areas that are not seen by the public..that is, servants quarters, kitchens, baths, etc. If this is not what you are interested in then the book is great. I did return it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book - great photography. I was at Versailles in September and this book was selling there for about $100, purchased on Amazon for $57. It shows the entire palace and estate very well. It is also good reading and relates good history and first-hand quotes of the palace/court life at Versailles. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book presents Versailles from a spectacular contemporary perspective. The book is full of beautiful large color photography revealing the beauty of the palace and the glorious gardens.
The text is brief and accessible to make room for the photos but it gives enough information about each illustration.
There are several close-up shots to reveal the architectural details and the craftsmanship of each piece of art. The book also includes some areas that weren't photographed before adding more value to this book.
Highly recommended for anyone with passion about Versailles and fine historical architecture.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Have a "million" books on Versailles and the gardens so I almost did not buy this one. However, in my favorite book shop in Paris, I glanced through and came home and ordered it. Absolutely a "must" - beautiful photographs and story line on Eternal Versailles!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great photos, including many areas that have often not been included in other books: staircases, the King's Suite, the Queen's Suite, the various private apartments, the apartments of the royal mistresses, the Orangery, and so forth. This book is a great complement to "Versailles" by Gerald Van der Kemp (1981) and "The Gardens of Versailles" by Pierre - Andre Lablaude and Jaques de Givry (1995).
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