(Portrait of Nicolas Mesnager, Louis XIV's adroit and clever negotiator; third plenipotenriary at the Utrecht conference, 1712-1713, together with Marshal d'Huxelles and abbé de Polignac; image source: Stéphan Perreau's blog on Hyacinthe Rigaud)
2013 marks the tricentenenary of the Peace of Utrecht, a milestone treaty which put an end to almost a century of uninterrupted European bloodshed. The City of Utrecht celebrates the event inter alia with music and an exhibition. Utrecht University and the Dutch-Belgian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies teamed up for a big international conference, featuring authorities as Lucien Bély (Sorbonne, who revolutionized the historiography of diplomacy with his doctorat d'état on the Peace of Utrecht), Marsha & Linda Frey (whose Dictionary of the Treaties of the War of the Spanish Succession is one of the rare standard works on the period in English), Heinz Duchhardt (IEG Mainz), Steven Pincus (Yale), Jamel Ostwald (author of a wonderful book on Vauban as an agressive besieger and prolific blogger)... an absolute must. Numerous speakers from this years' Louis XIV Outside-In conference (Maison française, Oxford) will be present as well.