Jonathan Beckman

Jonathan Beckman is the author of How to Ruin a Queen, about Marie Antoinette and the trouble-making diamonds.

A Laugh a Year: The Smile

Jonathan Beckman, 18 June 2015

In​ 1685, Louis XIV’s few surviving teeth were in such a parlous state that they required extraction, but the dentist operated so ineptly that he also removed a large section of one of the king’s maxillae. Louis endured the pain and inconvenience well enough even though, according to his chief physician, ‘every time the king drank or gargled, the liquid came up through his...

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