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A French Alphabet Book of 1814
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This charming primer on the alphabet captures the essence of everyday life among the French aristocracy in 1814 in a uniquely detailed series of watercolor drawings made as an alphabet book for a young French aristocrat by his uncle. The drawings give fascinating views of the family chateau and its grounds, its elegantly appointed interiors, the private chapel, as well as the kitchen, workshops, and stables. The boy's clothing and pastimes are all minutely illustrated as are his instruction in polite manners, music, and the arts. The pages are full of amusing puns and now obscured meanings-the French captions translated into the English of the period-preserving a life of enchantment and privilege which has long since vanished.
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