This deservedly famous book brings a glittering century to life, taking as its subject Louis XIV at Versailles – from the moment he decided to transform his father’s hunting lodge into the greatest palace in Europe, to his death there 54 years later. Focusing on the daily life of the King, the Court and the government during the period of France’s apogee of military power and artistic achievement, this lavishly illustrated book covers the course of Louis XIV’s love affairs, culminating in his secret marriage to Madame de Maintenon, the affair of the poison, the creation of St. Cyr, Lord Portland’s embassy and the marriage of the Duchess of Bourgogne.
‘A brilliant son et lumière performance.’
‘Her style is skilfully succinct . . . and her wit
proceeds from uncommon shrewdness. Here she summarises a wealth of information about the
King’s long, eventful life at Versailles. Even so, readers will wish that her book was twice as long.’
‘In his youth Monsieur was partial to battles. He would arrive rather late on the field, having got himself up to kill; painted, powdered, all his eyelashes stuck together; covered with ribbons and diamonds – hatless. He would never wear a hat for fear of flattening his wig. Once in action he was as brave as a lion, only afraid of what the sun and dust might do to his complexion; and he proved an excellent strategist.’