Colorful History of the Carousel

I’ve learned in writing their books, authors research many interesting things that for whatever reason are lost to the story.

Today I thought I would share a piece of history that tried hard, yet failed to make it onto the pages of Tangled Promises. Several of the Reinhold women in the book make a trip to Paris in 1881. The main character’s (Clara Reinhold) very excited thirteen-year-old sister, Emmaline, hoped to ride a merry-go-round. In 1879 Paris acquired one very similar to the ones we know today–The Jardin du Luxembourg. It is the oldest in Paris. (This picture is not it–sorry,)

What do you know of the ancestors of Merry-Go-Rounds? They have a rather gory history, the story going back to Renaissance jousting matches. Today they provide gentle entertainment for young and old alike.

Paris for Dreamers shares a most informative story of their history. The excerpt below shows real people and real horses engaged in this entertainment. I spared you the gory parts of early matches, however. Feel free to read the whole article. In fact, I hope you will.

By the 17th century, jousting tournaments had been replaced by a less violent, more elaborate version of an equine extravaganza known as un carrousel. Almost an equestrian ballet, a carrousel was an intricately coordinated pageant of a parade, with horses and their riders elaborately dressed. One of the most famous carousels of the time was that of 1662, a celebration Sun King, Louis XIV’s first son. It was held just to the west of the Louvre (the royal palace at the time), which is why this public square there is now called the Place du Carrousel.

Most of us have great memories of riding the colorful carousel horses and choosing our favorite. I’m certain Emmaline had an opportunity on another trip. Maybe she will tell us about it another time.

Next month I will see a mock-up of the cover for Tangled Promises. Pre-order status cannot be far behind. A fun gift included when you pre-order invites you to jump into Clara and Daniel’s story world. I can’t wait to share.

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Copyright 2023, Lynn U. Watson
Photo from Pixabay

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