D’Artagnan’s trip to London: Crèvecœur-le-Grand, April 1625

The travelers had chosen crossroads in the hope that they might meet with less interruption; but at Crèvecœur , Aramis declared he could proceed no farther. In fact, it required all the courage which he concealed beneath his elegant form and polished manners to bear him so far. He grew more pale every minute, and they were obliged to support him on his horse. They lifted him off at the door of a cabaret. 

Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers, 1844

According to he postcard below, this edifice of Crèvecœur-le-Grand is the ancient Hôtel de l’Ecu where Aramis spent the night after receiving a ball which passed through his shoulder. Dumas called it a cabaret. Cabarets seem to have been the ancestors of the modern restaurant. Unlike taverns they sold liquor not by itself but only with a meal, presented on a tablecloth. It was only later that cabarets became places where poets and artists could gather around a table to share ideas and philosophize.

debray-bollez_-_crevecoeur-le-grand_-_lancien_hotel_de_lecu_ou_alexandre_dumas_logea_dartagnan

Postcard edited by Debray-Bollez, before 1921.

Crèvecœur-le-Grand is also famous for having hosted François I of France and his court for a few days in 1520. King François was on his way to meet his english counterpart Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in order to seal an alliance between their kingdoms…unsuccessfully.

1920px-british_-_field_of_the_cloth_of_gold_-_google_art_project

Field of the Cloth of Gold, Painting by Friedrich Bouterwek, 1845.

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