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ON THIS DAY
Party at the Palace

Louis XIV was among the V.I.P. guests at Nicolas Fouquet’s lavish houseparty on 17th August, 1661 – and was supposedly so consumed with jealousy that he had Fouquet arrested for treason.

Although not entirely true, the story adds to the mystique of Vaux-le-Vicomte, the opulent chateau Fouquet created with the design team who later went on to reimagine Versailles.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Molière, d’Artagnan, and even the Man in the Iron Mask became tied up in this iconic event; consider how Fouquet constructed his extraordinary castle in just three years; and reveal the impressive contents of his guests’ Party Bags… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Vaux-le-Vicomte Book: Inside The Lavish Home That Inspired Versailles’ (Bloomberg, 2021): https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-10-08/vaux-le-vicomte-book-inside-the-lavish-home-that-inspired-versailles

• ‘Party Like It’s 1661’ (People Newspapers, 2020): https://www.peoplenewspapers.com/2020/01/09/party-like-its-1661/

• ‘Treasures from Vaux-le-Vicomte – Episode One: Fouquet’s Legacy’ (Sotheby’s, 2018):

ON THIS DAY
Party at the Palace

Louis XIV was among the V.I.P. guests at Nicolas Fouquet’s lavish houseparty on 17th August, 1661 – and was supposedly so consumed with jealousy that he had Fouquet arrested for treason.

Although not entirely true, the story adds to the mystique of Vaux-le-Vicomte, the opulent chateau Fouquet created with the design team who later went on to reimagine Versailles.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Molière, d’Artagnan, and even the Man in the Iron Mask became tied up in this iconic event; consider how Fouquet constructed his extraordinary castle in just three years; and reveal the impressive contents of his guests’ Party Bags… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Vaux-le-Vicomte Book: Inside The Lavish Home That Inspired Versailles’ (Bloomberg, 2021): https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-10-08/vaux-le-vicomte-book-inside-the-lavish-home-that-inspired-versailles

• ‘Party Like It’s 1661’ (People Newspapers, 2020): https://www.peoplenewspapers.com/2020/01/09/party-like-its-1661/

• ‘Treasures from Vaux-le-Vicomte – Episode One: Fouquet’s Legacy’ (Sotheby’s, 2018):

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OLLY MANN

Olly Mann made his name with another trivia-wielding podcast, Answer Me This! with Helen Zaltzman – and now presents The Modern Mann, The Week Unwrapped, and Four Thought for BBC Radio Four. He also has an A-Level in History, so Dan Snow beware.

REBECCA MESSINA

Rebecca got a passion for podcasting  working at The Week magazine and a passion for trivia appearing on University Challenge in 2011, making The Retrospectors her natural home.

ARION MCNICOLL

Arion started out in satirical news in Australia, then moved to the UK to work for ostensibly serious publications including The Times, CNN, and The Week… before realising that since around 2016 the news has all been satire really.

Do you have a day of note that we should cover? Or would you or your business like to support the podcast? Get in touch!

    17 Aug: Party at the Palace

    Louis XIV was among the V.I.P. guests at Nicolas Fouquet’s lavish houseparty on 17th August, 1661 - and was supposedly so consumed with jealousy that he had Fouquet arrested for treason.Although not entirely true, the story adds to the mystique of Vaux-le-Vicomte, the opulent chateau Fouquet created with the design…

    16 Aug: The Deadly Air Race

    Aviation in the 1920s could be a lethal business, as proven on 16th August 1927, when only 2 of the 15 planes that entered The Dole Derby - a $35,000 contest to fly from California to Hawaii - successfully reached their destination. The brainchild of pineapple magnate James D. Dole, the…

    15 Aug: America's Nazi Summer Camps

    Camp Siegfried hosted a ‘Nazi Camp Fete’ for 40,000 attendees on 15th August, 1938. The Summer resort, on Yaphank, Long Island, was the epicentre of the German-American Bund: an organisation devoted to establishing a Nazi stronghold across the United States. Alongside campfire building and swimming lessons, young attendees were taught to…

    12 Aug: The Bodies Buried at Bedlam

    When 42 bodies buried near Liverpool Street Station in London were dug up as part of the works on Crossrail on 12th August, 2015, they were thought to be victims of the Great Plague of 1665. The incident shone a light on the cemetery in which they were buried -…

    11 Aug: The Long Count

    Rerun. The 7,885 year-long calendar that the Mayan people used to measure long stretches of time, ‘The Long Count’, began on 11th August, 3114 B.C.The combination of a Haabʼ and a Tzolkʼin date identifies a day in a combination which does not occur again for 18,980 days (52 Haabʼ cycles…