The Sun King
Louis XIV at Versailles
ISBN10: 1590174917 ISBN13: 9781590174913 Contributors: Mansel, Philip (Introduction) Publisher: New York Review of Books Published: May 8 2012 Pages: 189 Weight: 0.48lbs. Height: 8.00" Width: 5.25" Depth: 0.50" Language: English
The Sun King is a dazzling double portrait of Louis XIV and Versailles, recreating the daily life of the King, his court, and his ministers during France’s golden age. Nancy Mitford introduces us to the architects, artists, and gardeners tasked with transforming a modest hunting lodge into the most magnificent palace Europe had ever seen, delves into the complex and deadly court intrigues afoot in the new capital, and chronicles Louis’s love affairs with a succession of mistresses including the brilliant feuding marquises of Montespan and Maintenon. Along the way we find Jean-Baptiste de Lully and his fiddlers, floating behind the King’s gondola on summer nights in Versailles; Racine translating Latin aloud to his insomniac monarch; the Premier Médecin du Roi, Guy Crescent Fagon, bleeding one royal after another to death—and at the center of them all the demanding, mercurial, but remarkably resilient personality of France’s sovereign for nearly three quarters of the Grand Siècle. Brimming with sumptuous detail and delicious bons mots, and written in a witty, conversational style The Sun King restores a distant glittering century to vibrant life.