Pub. Date:
Louis XIV: The Power and the Glory

Louis XIV: The Power and the Glory

by Josephine Wilkinson


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, October 21


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.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643130156
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Pages: 488
Sales rank: 1,133,056
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Josephine Wilkinson is the accomplished author of numerous biographies published in Great Britain: Anne Boleyn, The Princes in the Tower, Katherine Howard, and Richard III. She received her PhD from the University of Newcastle. She has been scholar-in-residence at St Denial’s Library. She now lives in York, Richard III’s favorite city.

Table of Contents

Prologue vii

1 A Gift from God 1

2 To Educate a Living God 15

3 The Fronde 31

4 "The Anointed of the Lord" 58

5 Louis in Love 70

6 A Royal Wedding 85

7 A New Dawn 101

8 The Summer of 1661 114

9 At Vaux-le-Vicomte 129

10 The Sun King 139

11 Le Château de Cartes 151

12 The Pleasures of the Enchanted Isle 166

13 The Dark Side of the Sun 178

14 Mars and Athena 192

15 The Triple Alliance 205

16 Marriages and Intrigues 220

17 The Dutch War 230

18 Les Femmes 247

19 The Affair of the Poisons 262

20 Mme de Maintenon 270

21 Versailles 286

22 The Sun Reaches Its Zenith 303

23 The Edict of Fontainebleau 310

24 The League of Augsburg 322

25 "Sire, Marly!" 338

26 The Spanish Succession 353

27 Gathering Twilight 368

28 Le Soleil se Coucher 381

Bibliography 401

Endnotes 411

Index 457

Customer Reviews