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The King Invites

Performing Power at a Courtly Dining Table

Series:

Daniëlle De Vooght

This book was awarded the «Joop Witteveenprijs 2012».
In the aftermath of the French Revolution, the role of the monarchy in Western Europe was redefined. Together with the absolutist sovereigns, the historian’s interest in courts and court life in the nineteenth century seems to have vanished.
This book investigates what happened to the institution of the monarchy in the nineteenth century. More specifically, it examines whether the nineteenth-century Belgian monarchs can be described as influential, or even powerful. The volume also deals with another hiatus in history writing, namely food at nineteenth-century courts. The author addresses these two issues by examining the Belgian king and queen’s dinner guests, as well as the food that was served at the palace. She considers questions such as who was invited, who got to share a table, how did the guest lists evolve over time, was the food adjusted according to the guests and how did the food evolve?
A social network analysis of the dinner guests and a qualitative analysis of the court food are used as tools to tackle these questions. In this way, this book deals with issues that touch upon the very core of society’s development: power, hierarchies, status, imitation, segregation and distinction.

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Annexes 247

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247 ANNEXES Annex 4.1: Number of dinner occasions and average number of dinner guests (1845-1905)1 1845 1850 1855 1860 1865 1869 1871 Number of dinner occasions 42 16 21 22 10 20 27 Average number of dinner guests 16.26 29.88 21.19 24.18 22.20 28.00 25.11 1875 1879 1886 1888 1895 1900 1905 Number of dinner occasions 33 26 19 28 6 16 15 Average number of dinner guests 28.18 25.62 25.63 21.39 73.00 34.25 28.20 Annex 4.2: Number of unique registered guests and number of invitees (1845-1905) 1845 1850 1855 1860 1865 1869 1871 Number of unique registered guests 851 836 885 982 910 1,018 1,165 Number of unique invitees 683 478 445 532 222 560 678 1875 1879 1886 1888 1895 1900 1905 Number of unique registered guests 1,249 1,079 1,063 992 920 1,112 1,175 Number of unique invitees 930 666 487 599 438 548 423 Annex 4.4: Percentage of dinner guests according to their number of invitations per year (1845-1905) 1845 1850 1855 1860 1865 1869 1871 1 66.91% 90.59% 66.67% 71.48% 73.42% 78.25% 64.16% 2-5 28.16% 6.69% 27.74% 24.58% 22.07% 18.36% 33.04% 6-10 2.18% 1.46% 2.91% 1.69% 4.51% 2.14% 1.18% 11-20 1.16% 1.26% 2.68% 2.25% 0.00% 1.25% 1.62% > 20 1.59% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 1875 1879 1886 1888 1895 1900 1905 1 64.06% 79.76% 80.49% 67.83% 91.55% 86.13% 79.72% 2-5 32.83% 17.09% 16.43% 29.50% 7.08% 11.50% 18.40% 6-10 0.64% 1.35% 2.05% 1.50% 1.37% 1.09% 0.71% 11-20 1.50%...

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