In fact, one could interpret “Stoned at Versailles” in two ways. First, it is a mass of stones. An enormous mass, indeed. Second, it was meant to overwhelm the senses. Louis XIV built it to imprison his court in a golden cage. A place where they had no time or money to do anything but follow court rituals.
This BBC documentary gives us an inside view of why the Sun King went to such lengths, and what effects it had on the court.
It is, of course, staggering. And I think it helps to explain how the whole edifice of French governance came tumbling down not very long after the Sun King was gone. With all attention on court rituals in Versailles, who was paying attention to what was going on elsewhere?
Absolute power led to incredible collapse.