Why You Should Visit The House of France’s Answer to Shakespeare

The latter was (is) a masterpiece, performed only once in 1664 at Versailles before Louis XIV. The Sun King apparently enjoyed it, but had it banned immediately: his stinging attack on casuistry outraged the clerics the monarch needed to keep by his side. The piece finally reappeared, toned down, at the Palais Royal in Paris in 1665.

During this time, Molière worked like tap dancers, writing plays but also musicals, about thirty in all in 15 years and including all the classics: Le Misanthrope, L’Avare, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and the others. He took the lead in most, fought off competition from rival theater groups and fierce criticism from personalities who felt under the playwright’s knife. These people stooped very low, spreading the rumor that the libertine wife of Molière was his own daughter.

He eventually found himself in an early grave, dying at age 51 shortly after starring in a performance of Le Malade Imaginaire.

Back in Languedoc, Pézenas slipped towards a backwater status. Clive of India enlivened local life somewhat, spending three months there in 1768, on his way back from his governorship of Bengal. Legend has it that he was accompanied by a Hindu cook who taught a baker from Pézenas how to make small pies with mutton, sugar, lemon, raisins and spices. The legend is apparently false.

The cook in question was Scottish, not Indian, and the recipe was based on mince pies. This deserved to be clarified, and the fact is that small pâtés have been the specialty of Pézenas ever since. They look like cotton balls, taste great when done right with the right ratio of filling to batter, go well with a salad or at happy hour but are, frankly, at a Ambitious price of €1.20/£1 per tour at Alary (9 , Rue Chevaliers Saint-Jean).

As usually happens, however, the backwater status has kept classic Pézenas in good shape. It’s wonderful to wander through the mixture of bustling streets and ancestral grandeur. Push the door of the Hôtel des Barons de Lacoste, rue François Oustrin, to see the scale on which the Languedoc notables lived. The multi-vaulted vestibule, columns, loggias, and monumental staircase give today’s luxury townhouses a somewhat cheesy look. You would need the staff, attention.

The narrow old streets are, unsurprisingly, punctuated not so much with butchers and bakers as candlestick makers – as well as ceramists, potters, leather and stained glass designers, painters, knife makers and other vendors stuff nobody needs but not bad. people might like. At least I hope so. I’m always mystified by how arty artisans in scenic locations all make a living. Maybe not. Or maybe there’s a bigger market for handcrafted abstract lampshades than I thought.

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