Nancy Mitford's magnificent biography of Louis XIV is also an illuminating examination of France in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. It focuses in particular on the Court of Versailles, which Louis transformed into Europe's greatest palace, and on the daily life of the king, government and courtiers as France reached the peak of its artistic and military achievement.
About the Author
Nancy Mitford (1904–1973) was born into the British aristocracy and, by her own account, brought up without an education, except in riding and French. She managed a London bookshop during the Second World War, then moved to Paris, where she began to write her celebrated and successful novels, among them The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, about the foibles of the English upper class. Nancy Mitford was also the author of four biographies: Madame de Pompadour (1954; available as an NYRB Classic), Voltaire in Love (1957), The Sun King (1966), and Frederick the Great (1970). In 1967 Mitford moved from Paris to Versailles, where she lived until her death from Hodgkin’s disease.
Philip Mansel is the author of six books dealing with French history, including a life of Louis XVIII (1981), The Court of France, 1789–1830 (1989) and Paris Between Empires (2001). He is currently at work on a life of Louis XIV.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book centers around the king's inner circle at Versailles and the social life of the court. Very little about politics and international events of the era. Interesting in that the king's personality comes through warts and all. Worth the time.
The book "The Sun King" is amazing providing much information on the Louis XIV, the Grand Dauphin, and the rest of the family. The family life, polotics and other is displayed gracefully in this informative and fun-to-read book.