Louis XIV

Louis XIV

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Product details

  • Paperback | 528 pages
  • 120 x 180mm
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • French
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • Ill.
  • 0552090670
  • 9780552090674

Review Text

French supremacy in Europe lasted 200 years, beginning when Louis XIV personally assumed the reins of government in 1661. His reign lasted until 1715, and famous as 'le Roi Soleil', the Sun King, Louis dominated Europe's most powerful nation from the magnificent palace at Versailles, achieving mythic status as the embodiment, supposedly, of the purest and most absolute form of monarchy. His pithy assertion, 'L'Etat, c'est moi', was one on which Louis acted as if it meant that both State and Church were subservient to his personal authority. A winer and womanizer - his many flamboyant liaisons included Louise de la Valliere and Mme de Maintenon - Louis created a climate where the king's pleasure was law. His sexual appetites were only matched by his desire for self-aggrandisement and thirst for power, lessons gleaned from his twin mentors Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin. Erlanger's account, first published in 1970 and translated by Stephen Cox, captures the energy and temperament of this passionate and arrogant monarch. Quoting extensively from Louis's own words and those of his contemporaries, this is fly-on-the-wall history featuring a dazzling cast of characters. Erlanger's achievement is both to stoke the myth surrounding Louis XIV and to undermine his legend. (Kirkus UK)show more