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Louis XIV: The Power and the Glory

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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 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.

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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 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.

51 review for Louis XIV: The Power and the Glory

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Bryson

    I received this beautiful book from a dear friend who knew I have an interest in history. To be honest I have not read a great deal about French history and knew very, very little about Louis XIV. I knew he took the throne at a young age and lived a long life but other than that I was in the dark. Dr Josephine Wilkinson’s book is beautifully presented and I was excited to start reading. From the moment I picked it up I was enthralled. Wilkinson paints a vivid and fascinating story about one of Fr I received this beautiful book from a dear friend who knew I have an interest in history. To be honest I have not read a great deal about French history and knew very, very little about Louis XIV. I knew he took the throne at a young age and lived a long life but other than that I was in the dark. Dr Josephine Wilkinson’s book is beautifully presented and I was excited to start reading. From the moment I picked it up I was enthralled. Wilkinson paints a vivid and fascinating story about one of France’s longest reigning King’s. Louis XIV came to the throne at a young age, influenced by his mother and those around him he grew into a man who respected god and loved war. He married, took mistresses and fathered many, many children. He waged wars, made favorable alliances and at one point almost brought his people to poverty. His public life is just as fascinating as his personal and Wilkinson details the great challenges the King faced as well as his personal and political achievements. By the time I reached the end of the book I honestly didn’t want it to end. I will freely admit that I shed a tear when I read about Louis’ death as I felt that through reading Wilkinson’s book, I had come to know this incredible King on a personal level. I was fascinated to read first-hand accounts of Louis XIV, written by the King’s family, his courtiers and even his rivals. Wilkinson’s research is thorough and in depth and by providing first-hand accounts, letters and documents Wilkinson was able to bring the real Louis XIV to life. If you enjoy history then this book is a MUST for the bookshelf!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shadoshard

    Louis XIV: The Power and the Glory, has to be one of the best books on the subject of the Sun King I've read thus far. Well rounded and and historically accurate, the timeline of his life in concert with the creation of Versailles and the religious turbulence of the time was both comprehensive and satisfying in a way that left the reader satisfied rather than bored with the political details. The writer interspersed Louis' personal life with his political life in ways that made sense; nothing ca Louis XIV: The Power and the Glory, has to be one of the best books on the subject of the Sun King I've read thus far. Well rounded and and historically accurate, the timeline of his life in concert with the creation of Versailles and the religious turbulence of the time was both comprehensive and satisfying in a way that left the reader satisfied rather than bored with the political details. The writer interspersed Louis' personal life with his political life in ways that made sense; nothing came out of left field making the reader wonder why he'd support one relationship over another. In an era where romantic liaisons could affect whether or not a country went to war, the writer made it very clear how, why and granted time lines for political connections that did not confuse. And through oceans of time, she granted Louis XIV the vibrancy in this era that made him the sun in his own; she granted him the charisma and grace via the contrast of his flaws and limitations of the time. All in all, the book was an excellent analysis of a ruler and the affect his reign had on his world and the world that came after.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emg

    Surprised at the focus on entertainment - more fun at the court than politics?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cohen Leicester

  7. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Brown

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mal Clough

  10. 4 out of 5

    SilviaZD

  11. 4 out of 5

    Newman Wilkins

  12. 5 out of 5

    Psagen

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matt Giddings

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kali

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica (RomancingtheBookworm)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  18. 5 out of 5

    Briana

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steph Fulton

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robert O'neal

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Pierce

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deneen

  23. 5 out of 5

    JENNIFER L

  24. 5 out of 5

    Don Sage

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  26. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

  27. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nóri Goreczky

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicole L

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris Kovacs

  31. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle

  32. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  33. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  34. 4 out of 5

    Rhodes

  35. 5 out of 5

    Giselle Bradley

  36. 4 out of 5

    dreamer of art

  37. 5 out of 5

    Lulu

  38. 5 out of 5

    David Dunlap

  39. 5 out of 5

    Brenna Terry

  40. 4 out of 5

    Dеnnis

  41. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  42. 5 out of 5

    Raye

  43. 4 out of 5

    Gonnamakeit

  44. 5 out of 5

    Dom Tassoni

  45. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

  46. 5 out of 5

    Joe

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    Jayne

  48. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  49. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  50. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  51. 5 out of 5

    Bob Battle

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