Biography & Autobiography

Louis XIV, the Real Sun King | ,

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Innovator. Tyrant. Consummate showman. Passionate lover of women.After the death of King Louis XIII in 1643, the French crown went to his first-born son and heir, four-year old Louis XIV. In the extraordinary seventy-two years that followed, Louis le Grand - Frances self-styled Sun King - ruled France and its people, leaving his unique and permanent mark on history and shaping fashion, art, culture and architecture like none other before. This frank and concise book gives the reader a personal glimpse into the Sun Kings life and times as we follow his rise in power and influence: from a miraculous royal birth no one ever expected to the rise of king as absolute monarch, through the evolution of the glittering Chteau de Versailles, scandals and poison, four wars and many more mistresses right up to his final days.Absolute monarch. Appointed by God.This is Louis XIV, the man. We will uncover his glorious and not-so-glorious obsessions. His debilitating health issues. His drive and passions. And we will dispel some myths, plus reveal the people in his intimate circle working behind the scenes on the Louis propaganda machine to ensure his legacy stayed in the history books forever.This easy-to-read narrative is accompanied by a plethora of little-known artworks, so if youre a Louis XIV fan or student, or just eager to know more about France's most famous king, we invite you to delve into court life of 17th century French aristocracy, the period known as Le Grand Sicle The Grand Century..

Fiction

Secrets of a Sun King | Emma Carroll

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It's November, 1922. In a valley in Egypt the tomb of a long dead pharaoh is about to be discovered. The world watches and waits for news with bated breath. Thirteen-year-old Lilian Kaye, who lives in a flat above a shop in London, is eagerly following the story. One morning the news takes a sinister turn: a man- a famous Egyptologist- disappears. All that remains of him are his feet. Then Lil's grandfather is taken suddenly ill, and when a mysterious package turns up for him from the Egyptologist, Lil starts to believe there is truth to the rumours of a pharaoh's curse..

Fiction

The Sun King | David Ignatius

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Washington Post columnist David Ignatius is one of the most highly regarded writers in the capital, an influential journalist and acclaimed novelist with a keen eye for the subtleties of power and politics. In The Sun King, Ignatius has written a love story for our time, a spellbinding portrait of the collision of ambition and sexual desire. Sandy Galvin is a billionaire with a rare talent for taking risks and making people happy. Galvin arrives in a Washington suffering under a cloud of righteous misery and proceeds to turn the place upside down. He buys the city's most powerful newspaper, The Washington Sun and Tribune, and wields it like a sword, but in his path stands his old Harvard flame, Candace Ridgway, a beautiful and icy journalist known to her colleagues as the Mistress of Fact. Their fateful encounter, tangled in the mysteries of their past, is narrated by David Cantor, an acid-tongued reporter and Jerry Springer devotee who is drawn inexorably into the Sun King's orbit and is transformed by this unpredictable man. In this wise and poignant novel, love is the final frontier for a generation of baby boomers at midlife—still young enough to reach for their dreams but old enough to glimpse the prospect of loss. The Sun King can light up a room, but can he melt the worldly bonds that constrain the Mistress of Fact? In The Sun King, David Ignatius proves with perceptive wit and haunting power that the phrase "Washington love story" isn't an oxymoron..

Fiction

The Sun King Conspiracy | Yves Jégo

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A tale of religious brotherhoods, corruption, romantic intrigue and political scheming at the court of Louis XIV. 1661 is a year of destiny for France and its young King, Louis XIV. Cardinal Mazarin, the Chief Minister who has governed throughout the King's early years, lies dying. As a fierce power struggle develops to succeed him, a religious brotherhood, guardian of a centuries-old secret, also sees its chance to influence events. Gabriel de Pontbriand, an aspiring actor employed as secretary to Molière, becomes unwittingly involved when documents stolen from Mazarin's palace fall into his hands. The coded papers will alter Gabriel's life for ever, and their explosive contents have the power to change the course of history for France and the Sun King himself..

History

Sun King | David Lee Rubin

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This work is a selection of papers presented at the Folger Institute by an international collegium of scholars on the ascendancy of French culture during the reign of Louis XIV..

Biography & Autobiography

King of the World | Philip Mansel

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WINNER OF THE FRANCO-BRITISH SOCIETY BOOK PRIZE 2019 'The ultimate biography of the Sun King, Louis XIV' Simon Sebag Montefiore A TELEGRAPH, SPECTATOR, BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE and TABLET BOOK OF THE YEAR Louis XIV, King of France and Navarre, dominated his age. In the second half of the seventeenth century, he extended France's frontiers into the Netherlands and Germany, and established colonies in America, Africa and India. Louisiana, which once occupied a third of the territory of the present-day United States, is named after him. Louis was also one of the greatest patrons of European history - Molière, Racine, Lully, Le Brun, le Nôtre all worked for him. The stupendous palace he built at Versailles, and its satellites at Marly and Trianon, became the envy of monarchs all over Europe, frequently imitated but never surpassed. In all his palaces, Louis encouraged dancing, hunting, music and gambling. He loved conversation, especially with women: the power of women in Louis's life and reign is a particular theme of this book. Louis was obsessed by the details of government, and travelled extensively around his kingdom, but often his choices for ministers and generals proved disastrous. After the death of his very able minister Colbert, the extraordinary cost of building palaces and waging continuous wars devastated French finances and helped set France on the path to revolution. In 1685, his decision to revoke toleration for Protestants damaged his country, and alienated Protestant Europe and at the end of his life, his forces were persistently defeated by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy. Nevertheless, by his death, he had helped make his grandson king of Spain, where his descendants still reign, and France had taken essentially the shape it has today. Philip Mansel's King of the World is much the most comprehensive and up-to-date biography of this hypnotic, flawed figure in English. It draws on all the latest research in France, Britain and America and pays special attention to the culture of the court, on which Mansel is an acknowledged expert. It is a convincing and compelling portrait of a man who, three hundred years after his death, still epitomises the idea of le grand monarque..

History

Louis XIV Outside In | Tony Claydon,Charles-Édouard Levillain

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Louis XIV - the ’Sun King’ - casts a long shadow over the history of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe. Yet while he has been the subject of numerous works, much of the scholarship remains firmly rooted within national frameworks and traditions. Thus in France Louis is still chiefly remembered for the splendid baroque culture his reign ushered in, and his political achievements in wielding together a strong centralised French state; whereas in England, the Netherlands and other protestant states, his memory is that of an aggressive military tyrant and persecutor of non-Catholics. In order to try to break free of such parochial strictures, this volume builds upon the approach of scholars such as Ragnhild Hatton who have attempted to situate Louis’ legacy within broader, pan-European context. But where Hatton focused primarily on geo-political themes, Louis XIV Outside In introduces current interests in cultural history, integrating aspects of artistic, literary and musical themes. In particular it examines the formulation and use of images of Louis XIV abroad, concentrating on Louis' neighbours in north west Europe. This broad geographical coverage demonstrates how images of Louis XIV were moulded by the polemical needs of people far from Versailles, and distorted from any French originals by the particular political and cultural circumstances of diverse nations. Because the French regime’s ability to control the public image of its leader was very limited, the collection highlights how - at least in the sphere of public presentation - his power was frequently denied, subverted, or appropriated to very different purposes, questioning the limits of his absolutism which has also been such a feature of recent work..

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Louis XIV | Olivier Bernier

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Louis XIV - the Sun King or Louis the Great, as he was also known - ruled France with an iron fist for over half a century, from 1651 to his death in 1715, outliving his son and even his grandson. His court at the Palace of Versailles became the most dazzling on the Continent, and through his intelligence and cunning, he made France the leading power of Europe. Now, in this masterful biography, historian Olivier Bernier brilliantly recreates Louis XIV's world to reveal the secrets of this monarch's unequaled sovereignty and to explore the singular mystique that surrounds him today. Not only was Louis heir to his father's throne, he felt he was divinely chosen to rule France. From the year he became king at the age of thirteen, he oversaw every aspect of government, from waging war and making political appointments to supervising the building of his many palaces. Along with political treachery that marked Louis XIV's long reign, Bernier also brings to light the personal scandals. We witness the poignant resignation of Louis XIV's queen to her husband's parade of mistresses and illegitimate children, the infamous intrigue when the king's brother was accused of poisoning his wife in a jealous rage, and the momentous building of Versailles, not an act of monstrous self-indulgence that bankrupted the nation but the visible expression of Louis XIV's new monarchy - his ingenious methods of centering all activity around court life, thus preventing his courtiers from fomenting rebellion. Under the Sun King, architecture, painting, music, and theater flourished, making France not only a great political force but a paradigm of fashion and culture as well. Louis XIV takes us from the grandeur of Versailles to the battlefields of the countryside, from the bedrooms of the king's mistresses to the chambers of his ministers, and presents an engrossing portrait of royal life and a commanding leader..

Biography & Autobiography

Love and Louis XIV | Antonia Fraser

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The superb historian and biographer Antonia Fraser, author of Marie Antoinette, casts new light on the splendor and the scandals of the reign of Louis XIV in this dramatic, illuminating look at the women in his life. The self-proclaimed Sun King, Louis XIV ruled over the most glorious and extravagant court in seventeenth-century Europe. Now, Antonia Fraser goes behind the well-known tales of Louis’s accomplishments and follies, exploring in riveting detail his intimate relationships with women. The king’s mother, Anne of Austria, had been in a childless marriage for twenty-two years before she gave birth to Louis XIV. A devout Catholic, she instilled in her son a strong sense of piety and fought successfully for his right to absolute power. In 1660, Louis married his first cousin, Marie-Thérèse, in a political arrangement. While unfailingly kind to the official Queen of Versailles, Louis sought others to satisfy his romantic and sexual desires. After a flirtation with his sister-in-law, his first important mistress was Louise de La Vallière, who bore him several children before being replaced by the tempestuous and brilliant Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan. Later, when Athénaïs’s reputation was tarnished, the King continued to support her publicly as Athénaïs left court for a life of repentance. Meanwhile her children’s governess, the intelligent and seemingly puritanical Françoise de Maintenon, had already won the King’s affections; in a relationship in complete contrast to his physical obsession with Athénaïs, Louis XIV lived happily with Madame de Maintenon for the rest of his life, very probably marrying her in secret. When his grandson’s child bride, the enchanting Adelaide of Savoy, came to Versaille she lightened the King’s last years – until tragedy struck. With consummate skill, Antonia Fraser weaves insights into the nature of women’s religious lives – as well as such practical matters as contraception – into her magnificent, sweeping portrait of the king, his court, and his ladies..

Fiction

The Hand of the Sun King | J.T. Greathouse

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“An original fantasy filled with magic and culture, the story of a character torn between two names, two loyalties, and two definitions of good and evil.”—Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Spine of the Dragon Wen Alder was born into two worlds. On his father’s side, a legacy of proud loyalty and service to the god-like Sienese Emperor spanning generations. And it is expected that Alder, too, will follow this tradition by passing the Imperial exams, learning the accepted ways of magic and, if he serves with honor, enhancing his family's prominence by rising to take a most powerful position in Sien—the Hand of the Emperor. But from his mother he has inherited defiance from the Empire, a history of wild gods and magic unlike anything the Imperial sorcerers could yet control. It began when his spirited, rebellious grandmother took Alder into the woods and introduced him to her ways—ways he has never been able to forget. Now, on the verge of taking the steps that will forge the path of his life, Alder discovers that the conflict between the Empire and the resistance is only the beginning of a war that will engulf both heaven and earth, gods and man—and he may be the key to final victory for whichever side can claim him as their own... “A great coming of age story about a foolish boy who seeks to unravel the secrets of magic and maybe do something good in the process. I absolutely loved it”—Nick Martell, author of Kingdom of Liars “Sublime prose and pin-sharp characterisation combine to produce a captivating epic of conflicted loyalties and dangerous amibition.” —Anthony Ryan.

Fiction

Enchantress of Paris | Marci Jefferson

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The alignment of the stars at Marie Mancini's birth warned that although she would be gifted at divination, she was destined to disgrace her family. Nonetheless, Cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the opulent French court, where the forbidden occult arts thrive in secret. In France, Marie discovers that her powerful uncle rules, using Marie's sister Olympia to hold the Sun King, Louis XIV, in thrall. Desperate to avoid her mother's dying wish that she spend her life in a convent, Marie burns her grimoire, trading Italian superstitions for polite sophistication. As her star rises, King Louis becomes enchanted by Marie's charm. Sensing a chance to grab even greater power, Cardinal Mazarin pits the sisters against each other, showering Marie with diamonds and silks in exchange for bending King Louis to his will. Disgusted by Mazarin's ruthlessness, Marie rebels. She sacrifices everything, but exposing Mazarin's darkest secret threatens to tear France apart. When even King Louis' love fails to protect Marie, she must summon her powers of divination. Fraught with conspiracy and passion, Enchantress of Paris is a captivating historical novel about a woman whose love was more powerful than magic..

History

The French Wars 1667–1714 | John A Lynn

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Campaigns fought by Louis XIV, the Sun King, shaped the borders of European states, the destinies of royal dynasties, and even the patterns of absolutist government. This book presents the most authoritative yet accessible and succinct account of these all-important struggles available today, covering every aspect of the wars from decisions made by the king at his palace at Versailles to the life of the troops encamped in the field. Focusing on the French army, the greatest military force of the age, this tale of violence, victory, and victims balances siege and battle in a way that tells us much that is new about the Sun King and his adversaries..

Fiction

In the Shadow of the Sun King | Golden Keyes Parsons

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Madeleine Clavell--beautiful, fiercely faithful, and...an outlaw. As Huguenots in 17th-Century France, Madeleine Clavell and her family defy French law daily. Though they live in comfort and happiness in the French countryside, their Protestant Christianity is considered traitorous. But they are wary. Persecution is surely at hand. Then King Louis XIV's dragoons arrive, forcing the family from their country estate. Madeleine must gather her courage and seek out the king in his royal palace at Versailles. Because Madeleine has a secret. Though years and a thousand choices have separated them, Madeleine and King Louis have a history together. One she feels certain he has not forgotten. She will risk everything to speak to him again. But will the impetuous king choose to save her...and her family? And if so, at what price?.

Biography & Autobiography

The Man Who Outshone The Sun King | Charles Drazin

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Sometime late in 1664, the musketeer D'Artagnan rode beside a heavily-armoured carriage as it rumbled slowly southwards from Paris, carrying his great friend Nicolas Fouquet to internal exile and life imprisonment in the fortress of Pignerol. There he would be incarcerated in a cell next door to the Man with the Iron Mask... From a glittering zenith as the King's first minister, builder of the breathtaking chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, collector of books, patron of the arts and lover of beautiful women, Fouquet had fallen like Icarus. Charged with embezzlement, he was convicted and sentenced to banishment until the King intervened to change his sentence to life imprisonment. Charles Drazin's riveting account brings to life the rich and hazardous world in which Foucquet lived. As a child he learned from his devout mother how to mix herbal remedies for the patients at the Hotel-Dieu and from his father, a creature of Cardinal Richelieu, the demands of political life. Drazin tells of the young man's first adventures as a tax-collector, caught up in rebellion in the Dauphiné , of the loyalty and service that he gave to Cardinal Mazarin and of the financial wizardry that somehow kept France's finances together. The cunning, charisma and charm of Fouquet enchant and beguile while they reveal the seeds of his destruction. But it is in his downfall and incarceration, which he bore with great fortitude, courage and humour, that Fouquet's strength of character and grace emerge, as he somehow survives both solitary confinement and absence of books, pen and ink. The richness and contrasts of his remarkable story are done full justice in this compelling book..

Biography & Autobiography

Louis XIV: The Gift from God | Josephine Wilkinson

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An intelligent, authoritative, and often surprising biography of the most famous of French monarchs, by an acclaimed biographer and historian. This stylish and incisive narrative presents readers with a fresh perspective on one of the most fascinating kings in European history. Louis XIV’s story has all the ingredients of a Dumas classic: legendary beginnings, beguiling women, court intrigue, a mysterious prisoner in an iron mask, lavish court entertainments, the scandal of a mistress who was immersed in the dark arts, and a central character who is handsome and romantic, but with a frighteningly dark side to his character. Louis believed himself to be semi-divine. His self-identification as the Sun King, which was reflected in iconography by the sun god, Apollo, influenced every aspect of Louis’s life: his political philosophy, his wars, and his relationships with courtiers and subjects. As a military strategist, Louis’s capacity was ambiguous, but he was an astute politician who led his country to the heights of sophistication and power—and then had the misfortune to live long enough to see it all crumble away. As the sun began to set upon this most glorious of reigns, it brought a gathering darkness filled with the anguish of dead heirs, threatened borders, and a populace that was dangerously dependent upon—but greatly distanced from—its king..

Fiction

Mistress of the Sun | Sandra Gulland

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From the author of the acclaimed and beloved Josephine B. Trilogy comes an enchanting historical novel that captures the drama, elegance and treachery of the court of Louis XIV of France. Louise de la Vallière, the brave and spirited child of minor nobility and an extraordinary horsewoman, falls in love with a wild stallion and uses ancient magic to tame him. This act shadows Louise throughout her life as she enters the court of the Sun King, where she captures—and then tragically loses—the King’s heart. Mistress of the Sun is addictive and alive. Sandra Gulland has filled this engaging narrative with glorious, meticulously researched detail, including notes on everything from courtly manners to Louis XIV’s favourite confection. Based on a true story of love and resounding with mystery, here is a novel that rewards readers with an irresistible glimpse into another time and another life..

Fiction

In the Shadow of the Sun King | Leila W. Jamison

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The court of King Louis XIV was the envy of all Europe for its grandeur and etiquette. Marc Esprit, a poor but clever boy from Normandy, vows that he will be part of this exotic scene. He encounters Zoe duBois, a free spirited ward of the court who will change his life and ambitions in ways this would-be aristocrat could not predict. After serving as a soldier, young Marc travels to Venice, where a man does not need a title to become successful. With borrowed money, he acquires a ?eet of ships. Trade in middle-eastern spices and luxury goods makes him a wealthy man. When he saves the Sultan’s treasure ship from pirates, he receives an unexpected gift and some disastrous news. Marc again meets Zoe, now penniless after the death of her titled husband. They travel to Sicily and Greece, but he deserts her on a remote island to pursue his ambition. At last, he has the opportunity to serve the king of France. Five years later, he returns to Zoe. After an acrimonious reunion, she agrees to come to Paris, but again she complicates his life Ms Jamison sheds light on the seventeenth century, a period of war, poverty, power struggles, and splendor. It’s all here -- drama, betrayal, religious con?ict, and sex..

History

The Wars of Louis XIV 1667-1714 | John A. Lynn

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Warfare dominated the long reign of the `Sun-king', Louis XIV. For forty years from 1672, France was continuously at war and had one of the largest armies seen in the West since the fall of imperial Rome. The campaigns secured little territory, but almost bankrupted the country and the consequences for the French monarchy were dramatic - contributing to its eventual downfall. John Lynn examines the wars for evidence of a coherent strategic policy; he explores the operational logistics of the campaigns; and considers their significance for France's diplomatic, political, mililtary, administrative and institutional This is the first modern, comprehensive study in any language, and offers a vivid insight into 17th and 18th century statesmanship and warfare - reaching a climax with the defeat of France by Marlborough at Blenheim..

History

That Sweet Enemy | Isabelle Tombs,Robert Tombs

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From Blenheim and Waterloo to 'Up Yours, Delors' and 'Hop Off You Frogs', the cross-Channel relationship has been one of rivalry, misapprehension and suspicion. But it has also been a relationship of envy, admiration and affection. In the nearly two centuries since the final defeat of Napoleon, France and Britain have spent much of that time as allies - an alliance that has been almost as uneasy, as competitive and as ambivalent as the generations of warfare. Their rivalry both on peace and war, for good and ill, has shaped the modern world, from North America to India in the eighteenth century, in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and it is still shaping Europe today. This magisterial book, by turns provocative and delightful, always fascinating, tells the rich and complex story of the relationship over three centuries, from the beginning of the great struggle for mastery during the reign of Louis XIV to the second Iraq War and the latest enlargement of the EU. It tells of wars and battles, ententes and alliances, but also of food, fashion, sport, literature, sex and music. Its cast ranges from William and Mary to Tony Blair, from Voltaire to Eric Cantona; its sources from ambassadorial dispatches to police reports, from works of philosophy to tabloid newspapers, from guidebooks to cartoons and films. It's a book which brings both British humour and Gallic panache to the story of these two countries, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, in victory and in defeat, in dominance and in decline..

Biography & Autobiography

Queen of Versailles | Mark Bryant

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Explores the life and court career of Madame de Maintenon. A study in queenship, it reveals how the dynamics of power and gender operated within the realms of early modern high politics, church-state affairs and international relations while providing unique insights into the Sun King and his court..