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…

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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…

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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…

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Chambre Bleu painting

A Backward Glance on rue de Varenne

The narrow sidewalks push their black iron batons up out of the ground to protect the buildings hemming them; the rain turns the cobblestones to…

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Peace Bringing Back Abundance

Vigée Le Brun’s Passion for Painting

A Passion for Painting Billowing ruched fabric, pointy toes of dainty shoes visible from beneath flounced skirts hemmed in gold fringes and ornate trims. A bejeweled…

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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…

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