Vaux-le-Vicomte in a misty fog

An Invitation to Vaux-le-Vicomte

In 1641, the 26-year old parliamentarian Nicolas Fouquet, who was then the Master of Requests at the Parlement of Paris, acquired the viscounty of Vaux…

View More An Invitation to Vaux-le-Vicomte
King Richard III and Queen Anne

The Nature of Noble Loyalty

It’s spring in London and the flowers are bursting forth on Cheyne Walk, which skirts the edge of the River Thames until it gives way…

View More The Nature of Noble Loyalty
Windsor Castle Upper Ward Quadrangl

The Tapestry of History

In just a few hours, the modern ideal of a fairy tale wedding will take place at Windsor Castle. A trip I took to the…

View More The Tapestry of History
David Gill at The Salon Art + Design.

Madame Récamier and the Art of Reclining

Jeanne-Françoise Julie Adélaïde Bernard, known after her marriage as Juliette Récamier, was born on December 4, 1777—240 years ago yesterday. Had she lived during modern…

View More Madame Récamier and the Art of Reclining
Château de Rambouillet in 1987

My Porcelain Bucket List

When I am planning literary design adventures, I look for experiences that give me the feeling of transcendence—encounters during which I am conscious of having…

View More My Porcelain Bucket List
Henry VIII swathed in cloth

Henry VIII’s Cult of Cloth

A trip to Frankfurt to attend Heimtextil a week from today has inspired me to share one of my favorite anecdotes about Henry VIII and…

View More Henry VIII’s Cult of Cloth
Reception at Malmaison in 1802 François Flameng

Transitory Spaces

The beginning of one of Napoléon Bonaparte’s earliest letters to Joséphine de Beauharnais simply oozes sensuality: “Seven in the morning. I awaken full of you…the…

View More Transitory Spaces