F309 Fall 2018 Louis XVI, the Unknown and Misunderstood King of Versailles
Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 10–Nov. 7
Instructor: Elisabeth Wolpert
French history books have described Louis XVI as a simpleminded, cowardly ruler. This image, created by the revolutionaries, discredited a hardworking, conscientious king who was a skilled diplomat trying to hold the nation together, as well as a family man trying to protect his wife and children. Louis XVI found himself trapped in a revolutionary nation. This course will show his tragic struggles and concern for his people’s welfare. It will also depict the private life of the young king, his avoidance of court life, his problems in the bedroom, and his hobbies and interests. We will finally look at his death, that of Marie Antoinette, and the fate of his jailed children.
Elisabeth Wolpert was born and educated in France. Her doctoral thesis dealt with 16th century French literature. She enjoys being a member at OLLI, where she has taught several courses.