Cover image for Reigning cats and dogs
Reigning cats and dogs
MacDonogh, Katharine.
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Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
304 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm
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SF411.35 .M235 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Historian Katharine MacDonogh offers a richly detailed historical account of court pets from the Renaissance to the present, addressing such themes as the attraction of animals among royalty, favored breeds, special treatment and abuses received by pets, animal treatment outside the palace, and the origin of various species.

Author Notes

After graduating in Modern History from Somerville College, Oxford, in 1975, Katharine MacDonogh spent several years in Paris as a translator and editor. She has written for History Today and reviewed for the Literary Review, the Evening Standard and the quarterly journal French History. A fellow of the International Napoleonic Society, she is currently writing a book on Napoleon's escape from Elba.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This amusing, anecdotal narrative chronicles the history of one of the most overlooked facets of court life. Virtually every royal household since the Renaissance accommodated a variety of pets for practical as well as psychological reasons. In addition to being items of prestige that contributed to the opulence of the court, many pets acted as sentinels, controlled vermin, and provided isolated, spiritually neglected children with companionship. Raised with animals from birth, royal children sought affection, solace, and pleasure from their dogs and cats. As they grew to adulthood, they increasingly humanized their pets, indulging and pampering them to an extreme degree. Since dogs and cats provided lonely, paranoid aristocrats with a safe emotional outlet, their esteemed position within the household was never questioned. Although heavy on European courts, this entertaining survey also includes pet references to some Chinese and African courts. Chock-full of irresistibly eccentric tidbits, this unique history will appeal to both court watchers and pet lovers. --Margaret Flanagan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Queens distressed by duty, kings seeking unconditional affection and stressed-out, isolated heirs-apparent have all had frequent recourse to feline and canine companions. MacDonogh's detail-rich, frequently gossipy book is a panorama of facts and anecdotes concerning royal and aristocratic spaniels, Corgis, Abyssinians, Persians, poodles, dachshunds and more. Every dynasty in modern Europe seems to have had four-legged friends, and MacDonogh tries to cover them all, with special attention to France, Russia and the U.K. Readers who already know the lives of occidental monarchs may find themselves drawn instead to MacDonogh's stories of China, India and Southeast Asia. (Ming emperors loved their cats and banned dogs from the palace.) Dutch and later English portrait paintings furnish useful records of royal companion animals, and this volume devotes some space to the relevant artists, including Van Dyck, Hogarth and George Stubbs. (Cats remain second to dogs in portraiture, since painters find it hard to make cats sit still.) A historian addressing a nonacademic audience, MacDonogh writes with precision if rarely with verve, presenting no overarching argument, but offering, instead, a work to be browsed for pleasure or consulted for reference. Gossip-lovers, dog-lovers, dog-haters and Russophiles might all enjoy learning how the young Catherine the Great's affair with Count Poniatowski came to light: Catherine's little dog greeted the count with warmth while barking at less-familiar noblemen. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Chapter One Royal Favourites THE TASTE FOR UNNECESSARY PETS began at court. During the Renaissance they reflected the desire for conspicuous display and were items of prestige, adding lustre to a princely house. Above all, they constituted an important, and generally uncontroversial, emotional outlet. As the most loyal of all subjects, pets were incapable of betrayal and disinterested in their affections. They alone had constant access to the royal ear. As Axel Munthe, the celebrated author of The Story of San Michele , put it: the dog cannot dissimulate, cannot deceive, cannot lie because he cannot speak. The dog is a saint ... A dog gladly admits the superiority of his master over himself ... He looks upon his master as his king, almost as his god ... He knows by instinct when he is not wanted, lies quite still for hours when his king is hard at work, as kings often are, or at least ought to be. But when his king is sad and worried he knows that his time has come and he creeps up and lays his head on his lap. Don't worry! Never mind if they all abandon you, I am here to replace all your friends and to fight all your enemies. Most monarchs were raised with pets from birth and, in the loneliness of their privileged childhood, formed a lifelong bond. They helped reduce the strains of office and fill the vacuum at the heart of monarchy. They countered the ennui and artificiality of court life with its insistence on etiquette and protocol. A species unto themselves, monarchs sometimes felt such a strong symbiotic attachment to their pets that the lines distinguishing humans from animals became blurred. For men, and more especially women, pets frequently acted as surrogate children, receiving the parental affection denied to their biological issue. Pets were not merely humanised; they were superior to man. Children Royal children came into contact with animals from birth; indeed, Princess Victoria narrowly missed entering this world among lapdogs when her eight months pregnant mother, the Duchess of Kent, reached England in 1819 aboard a travelling coach brimming over with them. Familiarising their young with animals was natural for royal parents, themselves devoted to pets, but it was also policy. Princes had to learn to hunt, in order to train them for war, to overcome fear and harden their hearts against the dangers and accidents to which kings were prone. Their first riding lessons frequently took place astride dogs, progressing to ponies generally at the age of four. Princes were necessarily separated for much of their youth from children of their own age and were discouraged from forming close attachments to the few with whom they came into contact. This affective void was exacerbated by parental neglect. As the Duke of Windsor observed when recalling his own childhood: `Kings and Queens are only secondarily fathers and mothers.' Emotional deprivation frequently resulted in psychosomatic disorders to which pets alone remained indifferent.     The eldest son of Henri IV of France and Marie de Medici, the Dauphin Louis (Louis XIII, 1601-43, reigned from 1610), was hunting the stag by the age of six, accompanied by his page, Bompar, and could already discuss the subject with authority. By the age of seven, Louis was hunting with the King. Most of his early training took place indoors: young game would be released in the galerie at Fontainebleau or the salle de bal at St Germain and small dogs, generally his own pets, set upon them. Both the quarry and the dogs were transported to wheresoever the Prince happened to be. By the age of nine, when he succeeded to the throne, Louis was hunting three times a week and was considered proficient enough to pursue wild boar, although this did not prevent him from continuing to chase hare in his bedroom with his ` petits chiens' . His deep attachment to dogs showed in his ability to remember all their names, his constant desire to discuss little else, and the mortification he felt whenever an accident befell any of them.     Even before they received pets of their own, royal children were given toy dogs and cats to habituate them to their presence. Louis played with china dogs and, on his fifth birthday, was given some glass ones by the wife of his physician, Jean Héroard. He still enjoyed playing with these two years later, despite the fact that he was now actively following the hunt, and appears only to have desisted at the age of eleven, when dancing and music became great passions. Toys were normally removed when children officially reached maturity which, in the case of boys, involved the symbolic process of breeching, or changing from frocks to breeches. It was only at this point that children were deemed capable of reason. Catherine the Great (Catherine II, 1729-96, Empress from 1762) recorded in her memoirs how her toys were theoretically confiscated when she was seven but that in reality this was `a mere question of etiquette, as no-one interfered with me in my games'. Possibly the rule was more rigorously enforced under her descendant, Tsar Alexander III (1845-94, Emperor from 1881), who kept his childhood collection of miniature glass and china animals, which he referred to as his `treasures', in a secret drawer in his desk until his death. In 1856, at the age of eleven, he had sketched for them an imaginary city which he named Mopsopolis, PugCity, inhabited by the eponymous dogs.     Another favourite royal game was harnessing pet dogs to miniature carriages which were then pulled along the galleries of palaces. In 1608 Louis attached his dogs, Pataut and Lion, to the carriage that his mother's favourite, Concini, had given him. In April 1715, Madame (Duchesse d'Orléans, 1652-1722, second wife of Louis XIV's brother Philippe and always addressed as Madame) wrote to the Raugravine Louisa, her half-sister, describing how after dinner my grandson, the duc de Chartres, came to see me, and I arranged for him a spectacle suitable to his years. It was a triumphal car drawn by a big cat, in which was seated a little lady dog called Andrienne. A pigeon acted as a coachman, two others were pages and a dog served as footman and sat up behind. His name is Picart, and when the lady alights from the carriage, Picart lets down the step. The cat's name is Castille. Picart allows himself to be saddled and has a doll put on his back, and he will do everything that the domestic horses do. Napoleon's sister Caroline Murat gave a similar carriage to his son the King of Rome, but it was pulled by sheep, trained by Franconi, the famous circus trainer. The carriage arrived in Vienna in November 1815, much to the joy of the boy and the despair of his tutor, Count Dietrichstein, who noted how `this apparition revived, as if by magic, all those memories of Paris and the imperial splendour of the Court which had been somewhat dimmed since 25 October [when most of his French attendants had been dismissed]. The Prince's playmate, Emile, joined in, and from that day on the excessive and often frenzied gaiety of the two children, as well as their insufferable chatter, grew to such a pitch that it was quite impossible to keep them quiet.' Pets were sometimes given in order to deflect a child from baleful influences. When he was five years old, in 1816, the King of Rome was taught by his favourite uncle Archduke Francis `to be not only rude but indecent', according to Leopoldine, his aunt; their brother, Archduke Rainer, gave the boy a basset hound as an alternative companion and soon superseded his brother as the prince's favourite.     Parental neglect or absence was an important factor in building up the symbiotic relationship subsisting between child and pet. However much Louis loved his father, Henri IV was dead before the Prince's tenth birthday and his mother, Marie de Medici, never once kissed him, a view corroborated by the Grande Mademoiselle (daughter of Gaston d'Orléans and cousin of Louis XIV), who wrote: `My grandmother loved me deeply and showed me, so I have been told, much more tenderness than ever she had shown her own children: Although Louis was brought up with Henri's ten bastard children, and thus was far from deprived of playmates of his own age, he early grew to dislike them and already by the age of four refused to eat with them. His first friends were the dogs of the gardes du corps . When he started to acquire his own pets at the age of four he organised them into a household, appointing his favourite, Cavalon, ` premier chien '. He was given a miniature black greyhound in 1605 by his cousin, the Duc de Longueville, which he named Charbon, but also had a chien d'Ostreland called Isabelle which slept on his bed at night. This was the dog he had with him while sitting for his portrait by Martin in 1606 and which `he caressed, kissed, called his sweetheart, for he adored dogs. The femme de chambre Mademoiselle Mercier said to him "Monsieur, those bearing arms should not have dogs with them [a reference to the Prince's martial attire for the portrait]", at which he quipped, "but they are good at nipping enemies' legs"' In all he had ten pet dogs as a child.     Not only were dogs uncritical of physical failings, but they exhibited a gentleness and tenderness often lacking in the human species. At Renaissance courts authority had been preferred to force, but the use of corporal punishment gradually spread from Protestant Germany across Europe and by the mid-sixteenth century had become common practice. Lady Jane Grey bewailed the fact that When I am in presence either of father or mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand or go, eat, drink, be merry or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else, I must do it, as it were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so perfectly as God made the world, else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea presently sometimes with pinches, nips and bobs, and some ways I will not name for the honour I bear them, so without measure misordered that I think myself in Hell. Louis was regularly whipped from the age of three with the approval of both his parents -- though not of his physician Héroard, who warned that it was undermining the boy's health. Henri IV wrote to his son's nurse, Madame de Montglat, in 1607 insisting `it is my wish and my command that he be whipped every time he is stubborn or misbehaves, knowing full well from personal experience that nothing in the world is as efficacious'. On his birthday that same year Louis was taken to vespers at the Cordeliers to hear a Te Deum sung in his honour but, seeing one of the Franciscans holding a large whip to keep the dogs out, he took fright and went outside to hide in the elm grove from which nobody could persuade him to emerge. Lest it be thought that children of this period were psychologically inured to corporal punishment, it is interesting to note that when Louis became a father he never applied the whip to his own children, the future Louis XIV and Philippe, Duc d'Orléans.     On the frequent occasions when Louis was bitten, his parents normally took the side of the dog: once in 1608 the Prince went into the garden at Fontainebleau to await his father and in order to `raise his hat to Soldat, one of the King's dogs, which jumped up at him, taking him by surprise and reducing him to tears. The King upbraided him for being scared, and told him he must be afraid of nothing.' Soldat appears to have found Louis' attentions singularly overwhelming for it bit him again less than a month after when they were playing together and, later that year, `the dog barking at him, he pretended to bite it; the King upbraided him thinking he was beating the dog. He cried at having displeased the King, the King got angry and led him by the hand to his bedroom.' When his mother's dog, Brigantin, bit Louis on the eyebrow in 1610 she showed no pity, he having accidentally trodden on the dog's paw. Louis stormed out, protesting that Marie de Medici cared more about her dog than she did him. He was probably right.     At European courts, education began in earnest once breeching had taken place and a tutor had been appointed to oversee the prince's upbringing. Hunting manuals and fairytales formed a significant part of the curriculum. The Dauphin, Louis, had mastered Jacques de Fouilloux's La Vénerie , written in 1561, by the age of nine. He also greatly admired Conrad Gesner's magisterial Historiae Animalium , 1551-8, which Héroard lent him regularly. Fairytales confirmed the hierarchy of the animal kingdom by distinguishing between noble and ignoble creatures in the same manner as medieval bestiaries had done previously and were thus instrumental in reconciling a love for animals with a passion for the chase. From the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries children at all European courts learned the fables of Aesop, and subsequently La Fontaine, by heart. In a letter to his Sister Wilhelmina, Margravine of Bayreuth, written in 1748, Frederick the Great (Frederick II, 1712-86, King from 1740) expressed his admiration for the great fabulist: `Animals often help us to explain our sentiments more naturally and candidly. La Fontaine, author of such pretty fables, was well aware of this; hence the creatures whom he endowed with his eloquence teach man a moral which sadly few put into practice'.     Breeching, with its severance of a prince from female influence and affection, caused many a prince -- and his governess -- considerable grief and could lead to animosity between the redundant governess and the new tutor, whose position was a source of great potential influence over his charge. Louis was given a tutor in 1609, Monsieur de Souvré, who squabbled with Madame de Montglat, the child's beloved governess, over the child. Souvré attempted to diminish the Dauphins affection for his dogs as part of forcing him into adulthood. Héroard recorded how Louis `had a dog called Pataut, the eldest of them all, which he wanted to bring to St Germain and which he loved and had always loved. Monsieur de Souvré said to him. "Sir, you have too many dogs, you must get rid of those that are worthless and particularly those that are too old, like Pataut." "Pataut, monsieur de Souvré, oh! No, I want to look after the old"' replied the boy. Louis was devoted to his father and saw him relatively often. He paid him a unique compliment when he confided to Madame de Montglat that he liked him even `more than Pataut'. Nonetheless, on the rare occasion when the Dauphin laughed, Héroard recorded that it was normally prompted by an incident relating to his dogs as, for instance, when he persuaded a courtier to play the bagpipes to Pataut. He also suffered from an appalling stutter, as did his contemporary and future brother-in-law, Charles I, another great dog lover.     Most royal children were raised in relative isolation and tutored privately until the twentieth century. The principal reason for this was the necessity for protecting them against disease and plague. Despite such precautions, the incidence of infant mortality remained extremely high and the death of siblings deprived many princes of potential playmates. The stringent precautions taken to prevent their contracting disease were particularly severe in the case of a sole heir. Henry VIII's only son, the future Edward VI, was brought up at Hampton Court where the walls and floors were washed three times a day. His mother, Jane Seymour, having died in childbirth, and his father being an infrequent visitor, he understandably formed a close tie with his nurse, Mother Jack, ruptured at the age of six when he was breeched. Prince Edward was relatively fortunate: his father arranged for fourteen well-born children to share his education and an exclusive palace school was thus founded. Despite these benefits, it was reported that he laughed out loud only once in his life.     Many royal children were sickly or crippled. The offspring of Louis XIV appear to have been particularly disadvantaged: his illegitimate son, the Duc de Maine, fell victim to infantile paralysis at the age of three and his grandson the Duc de Bourgogne was a hunchback. Queen Christina of Sweden's mother, Maria Eleonora, tried to kill her daughter at birth because she was so ugly and hirsute. Nor did their contemporaries show much tact in these matters: Madame, the Duchesse d'Orléans, always referred to the Duc de Maine in her letters as `the Cripple'. All were devoted to their pets, creatures indifferent to their physical and mental disabilities which, by seriously handicapping their chances of forging important marriage alliances, diminished their standing at court. Similarly, Kaiser William II's withered arm was long kept secret and he later confessed that the endless corrective exercises he had endured in his youth meant his `life was often a perfect torment'. Reza, Shah of Persia from 1925 to 1941, was very disappointed in his sickly, fragile child, Muhammad Reza, and largely abandoned him into the hands of a guardian. When the last Shah was deposed in 1979 he dispensed with his most loyal officers but not his dogs, which accompanied him on the only available aeroplane leaving the country -- an order of priorities that seriously undermined any chances of a Pahlavi restoration.     The last Tsar's son, Alexis, was not only his sole heir but a victim of haemophilia. The Romanovs allowed none of their children to mix other than with their siblings or immediate relations; they never attended a ball before the age of seventeen and had been to no parties other than those hosted by their aunt, the Grand Duchess Olga. In the case of the Tsarevich his isolation was exacerbated by his physical vulnerability and, although adored by both his parents, he was particularly attached to his pets. His spaniel Joy was his constant companion until their extermination. He also had a cat, Kotka. In 1916 he reported to the Tsarina how `I took my cat into the garden but she was very timid and ran on to the balcony. She is now asleep on the sofa and Joy is under the table.' The cat was with him during the war, on one occasion getting lost, as Nicholas wrote to Alexandra: it `hid under those big logs of timber; we put on our coats and went out to look for it. Nagorny [the Tsarevich's personal bodyguard] at once discovered the cat with the aid of an electric lamp, but it took us a long time to make the brute come out -- it would not listen. At last he caught it by the hind legs and pulled it through the narrow space.' Unlike the Tsarevich, his sisters had no pets, either because it was discouraged or because their parents were preoccupied with their ailing son. In 1914, when Tatiana, then aged seventeen, finally acquired a pet, she apologised to her mother: Mama darling mine, Forgive me about the little dog. To say the truth, when he asked should I like to have it if he gave it to me, I at once said yes. You remember, I always wanted to have one, and only afterwards when we came home I thought that suddenly you might not like me having one. But I really was so pleased at the idea that I forgot about everything. Please, darling angel, forgive me. Tell Papa about it. I hope he won't have anything against it. Good night, beloved Mama. God bless and keep you. 1000 kisses from your devoted daughter and loving, Tatiana. Say, darling, you are not angry. This was doubtless Ortino, mentioned again in 1915. Tatiana's sister Olga was given a cat in 1916.     The relationship between monarch and heir is necessarily strained. As Queen Elizabeth I explained to Mary Queen of Scots when declining to give her official recognition as heir apparent in 1560: `Think you that I could love my own winding-sheet? Princes cannot like their own children, those that should succeed unto them'. The Duke of Windsor, when Prince of Wales, rarely saw his parents, noting philosophically that `for better or worse, Royalty is excluded from the more settled forms of domesticity. While affection was certainly not lacking in my upbringing, the mere circumstances of my father's position interposed an impalpable barrier that inhibited the closer continuing intimacy of conventional family life' He recalled how his early years at Sandringham `were spent almost entirely under the care of nurses', one of whom would pinch him and twist his arm before he paid his daily visit to his parents at teatime, and the `sobbing and bawling this treatment invariably evoked understandably puzzled, worried, and finally annoyed them' and led to his being peremptorily dismissed from their presence. He regretted never being alone with his parents, who constantly had either an equerry or lady-in-waiting in attendance, and also that `except when we were taken to parties for the children of our parents' friends, or the members of the Household brought their sons and daughters to one of the Royal estates, we almost never saw our contemporaries [and] ... were thus deprived of the company of other children'. His lot was at least preferable to that of the son of the Maharajah of Rewah, who explained to the Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge, that he kept the boy in a palace miles away, `because all sons wished to poison their fathers and that his son was thus removed from temptation'.     Princesses fared no better and, like their brothers, found an emotional outlet in keeping pets. James I's daughter, Elizabeth of Bohemia, had so many during her lonely childhood at Coombe Abbey in the care of Lord and Lady Harington that Sir Dudley Carleton, ambassador at The Hague, wrote: `Of little dogs and monkeys, she hath no great want, having sixteen or seventeen in her own train.' At one time she had no fewer than twenty dogs and later became notorious for favouring her dogs above her children. Her daughter, Sophia, Electress of Hanover, remembered her preferring `the sight of her monkeys and dogs to that of her children' who, in consequence, were raised in Leyden while Elizabeth remained in The Hague. Frederick the Great's sister, Wilhelmina, alleged `punches and kicks were my daily bread' -- administered by her father. Unlike her brother, she was at least allowed pets, a practice dearly frowned upon at the militaristic Prussian court where Crown Prince Frederick (1831-8, reigned 1888) was later flogged for giving a servant twenty groschen for bringing him his dog from Potsdam (some twenty miles). When her brother was imprisoned at Kustrin, Wilhelmina wrote him clandestine letters, the discovery of which by the King would have had serious and unpleasant repercussions. She recalled how in 1726 she was nearly caught in the act when her father made an unexpected appearance and attempted to open the cabinet behind which, on hearing him approach, she had just had time to thrust her secret letters, though not the inkwell which she held behind her back. He was distracted by her mother: She had a very beautiful little Bolognese dog, and I had one too; both these animals were in the bedroom. `Resolve our differences,' she said to the King, `my daughter says her dog is more beautiful than mine, and I maintain the opposite.' He started laughing, and asked me if I were very attached to mine? `With all my heart,' I answered, for `he is very lively and has a very good nature.' My reply pleased him, he embraced me several times, making me overturn my ink-well. The black liquid spilt all over my dress, and began to pour all over the floor. I dared not move, for fear the King notice. The situation was saved by his leaving ... Royal Mothers The principal function of royal women was to produce healthy sons. Few had met their husbands before they wed, or cast eyes on them other than in highly flattering portraits, and most married extremely young, often before reaching puberty. Even when the children they eventually bore were lucky enough to survive infancy, mothers had little, if any, say in their education or upbringing and rarely formed close ties. Royal wives spent their lives in exile from their native country, which was, in many cases, at war with their adoptive land. Linguistic difficulties had to be overcome, established favourites or mistresses tolerated, etiquette strictly adhered to and fidelity rigorously observed. The slightest deviation from these rules of conduct frequently resulted in the spread of unsubstantiated gossip which not only worsened a woman's lot but brought the whole monarchy into disrepute. Frederick the Great's sister, Wilhelmina, was told when her marriage was announced in 1731: `Great princesses are born to be sacrificed to the good of the state.' Those who did not turn to pets for the disinterested affection lacking elsewhere were rare indeed.     The first ordeals royal wives had to endure were pregnancy and childbirth. Riding and hunting were actively discouraged, particularly in the case of those women, like Marie Antoinette (her mother was already warning her in 1770 that riding was `dangerous and bad for bearing children, which is your vocation'), who failed to conceive for many years after marriage. At the Spanish court, where etiquette was particularly strict, Pepys was aghast to hear that women `found to be with child do never stir out of their beds or chambers till they are brought to bed -- so ceremonious are they in that point also ... that the Court there hath no dancings, nor visits at night to see the King or Queene, but is always just like a Cloyster, nobody stirring in it'. Madame, the Duchesse d'Orléans, was equally shocked after receiving a letter from her stepdaughter, Marie-Louise, Queen of Spain, in 1679, which left her convinced it was the most horrible country in the world. Their manners are the most stupid and annoying that can be imagined. Poor child, I pity her with all my heart for having to spend her life in such a country. The little dogs that she took with her are her only consolation. Already such severe rules of behaviour have been imposed upon her that she is not allowed to speak to her old groom. She may only make a sign to him with her hand or nod to him as she passes. The French servants could not accustom themselves to being shut up at first, and they all wanted to return to France. Not only was childbirth witnessed by a large number of court officials lest the royal infant be swapped at birth, but the risk of death remained high until the twentieth century. In 1716 Madame told the Princess of Wales that her daughter, the Duchesse de Lorraine, `always makes her farewells when she is approaching her lying-in time, because she always expects to die'. Her granddaughter, Louise-Adelaide, tried to avoid the issue by taking the veil, long a respectable alternative to marriage.     The duty of a royal mother was to bear children, not to raise them. This did not leave them immune to maternal sentiment, and the death of a child in infancy often caused great heartache. When Madame's elder son, the Duc de Valois, died in 1676, she was overwhelmed by the unexpected blow.... My trouble is that I don't know in the least how to deal with children, and have had no experience in such matters, so that I am forced to believe what they tell me here. But let us change the subject, because the more I think about it the more distracted I become. I have no one to console me because Monsieur left on Thursday with the King to join the army.... Unless God accords his special protection to the baby I am carrying at present, I shall have a very poor idea of its chances of life and health, because it is impossible that it should not be affected by all my troubles. The death of one child left Madame in a state of heightened anxiety for her remaining son, Philippe, the future Regent, then two years old: `I wish

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Royal Favouritesp. 7
Chapter 2 Pet Preferencesp. 69
Chapter 3 Creature Comfortsp. 127
Chapter 4 Cruelty and Kindnessp. 169
Chapter 5 The Origins of the Speciesp. 237
Notesp. 278
Indexp. 286
Picture Acknowledgementsp. 304