Did you see this movie? (Marie Antoinette, with Kirsten Dunst). It was kind of fun to watch, albeit with about 8 more musical montages than I wanted. Beautiful costumes and sets, though. A book I'm reading, The Dirt on Clean, shines a harsh light on history and reveals Marie and her contemporaries (not to mention generations of people before her) as stinky, dirty piglets. Under the opulence there was apparently a thick layer of grime everywhere. I always chalked it up to ignorance about germs and everything, but according to the book, after the Plague everyone wanted their pores nice and clogged to keep out disease. Clear water was a health hazard. In fact, women would add powder to their bath water to keep it from cleaning their pores too well. Wearing linen undergarments took the place of bathing. The author writes of one person who wore an undergarment so long without changing that when he finally went to remove it, some of his skin came off with it. If you are putting off housework like I am right now, consider this:
"Shortly before Louis XIV died in 1716, a new ordinance decreed that feces left in the corridors of Versailles would be removed once a week." The Hot Wheels all over the house suddenly seem totally acceptable.