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Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King

Tekijä: Antonia Fraser

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
9681821,597 (3.8)37
The self-proclaimed Sun King, Louis XIV ruled over the most glorious and extravagant court in seventeenth-century Europe. Now, Antonia Fraser goes behind the well-known tales of Louis's accomplishments and follies, exploring in detail his intimate relationships with women. The king's mother, Anne of Austria, had been in a childless marriage for 22 years before she gave birth to Louis XIV. A devout Catholic, she instilled in her son a strong sense of piety and fought successfully for his right to absolute power. In 1660, Louis married his first cousin, Marie-Thérèse, in a political arrangement. While unfailingly kind to the official "Queen of Versailles," Louis sought others to satisfy his romantic and sexual desires. Fraser weaves insights into the nature of women's religious lives--as well as such practical matters as contraception--into her sweeping portrait of the king, his court, and his ladies.--From publisher description.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 17) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
A good look at the Sun King and the women he surrounded himself with. We learn of his relationship with his mother, his sisters-in-law, his mistresses, his wives, and his descendants. I was looking for something less political and more personal, and I found it in this book. The court of Louis XIV comes to life in Antonia Fraser's very capable hands. I was glad to read about the king's secret wife, Francoise d'Aubigne, who is a distant relative of mine. This made it all the more interesting for me.

Very easy to read and recommended for those looking for something that goes beyond the political life of the court of the Sun King. ( )
  briandrewz | Jul 14, 2022 |
I've read several of Fraser's books and she never disappoints. What I liked best in this one was that she concentrated on details of Louis' personal life and that of his lovers while the topics of politics and war were minimal. This must have been a joy for Fraser to write because there is so much known about the Sun King whose every move was noted by someone in his circle. Because her topic is so focussed, she is able to include significant details about general life (for royalty) such as birth control, childbirth, hygiene and medical treatments. However the mistresses and numerous offspring (all having similar names) form a mass of individuals that is tricky to follow, it is wise to make notes. Highly recommended. ( )
  VivienneR | Apr 15, 2022 |
I loved this book. I read it before watching the Versailles series on Ovation and so glad I did. The series stays somewhat true to history but of course it is TV and has to add its flare to it. He was a very interesting King and contributed so much. A must read for any monarchy fan. ( )
  ChrisCaz | Feb 23, 2021 |
Pretty sure I read this last year while watching season 1 of Versailles. ( )
  LoisSusan | Dec 10, 2020 |
Lady Antonia Fraser is an accomplished historian; her Tudor books have enthralled me for years. I chose her to introduce me to the French court--sadly, a disappointment. This book is focused on King Louis XIV and the women he loved in his life.
It begins well, with a focus on Louis XIV's mother and regent Anne of Austria. Anne was a pious and effective ruler, and she left her son with a profound belief in the Catholic Church. Partly through her influence, Louis abandoned his love affair with Marie Mancini and married the Spanish Infanta Marie-Therese. After a short period of romance, their marriage was stable, if loveless. Louis was in love with Louise de La Valliere, a young woman as passionately in love with God as she was with Louis. They had several illegitimate children together before Louis's attention passed on to the far more glamorous Francoise-Athenais de Rochechouart de Mortemart. Athenais was dazzling in beauty and wit, and reigned Versailles for about ten years. After a short affair with the beautiful but dim Angelique de Fontanges, who died bearing his child, Louis moved on to his illegitimate children's governess, Francoise de Maintenon. She was three years older than he, with no connections, wealth, or reputation, and yet Louis was true to her until his death. In fact, it is rumored that after the death of his queen, he married her in a secret, morganatic ceremony. Whatever the case, Louis's remaining years were spent in the War of the Spanish Succession (wherein he tried to put his grandson on the Spanish throne--and eventually Philip V did reign) and marrying his grandchildren by his mistresses to his grandchildren by his wife. Creeeepy.

There was a real lack of quotes or letters in this book. After reading the whole thing, I had as little understanding of Louis's character as at the start. The women do not shine through either. I was confused by the many titles and the incredibly similar names (Marie-Jeanne, Marie-Anne, Anne-Marie...ugh!), a situation made worse when a character would be named on pg 100 and then reappear, with no explanation, on pg 300. Overall, a frustrating book about a fascinating period. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 17) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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The first woman in the life of Louis XIV - and probably the most important - was his mother, Anne of Austria.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (3)

The self-proclaimed Sun King, Louis XIV ruled over the most glorious and extravagant court in seventeenth-century Europe. Now, Antonia Fraser goes behind the well-known tales of Louis's accomplishments and follies, exploring in detail his intimate relationships with women. The king's mother, Anne of Austria, had been in a childless marriage for 22 years before she gave birth to Louis XIV. A devout Catholic, she instilled in her son a strong sense of piety and fought successfully for his right to absolute power. In 1660, Louis married his first cousin, Marie-Thérèse, in a political arrangement. While unfailingly kind to the official "Queen of Versailles," Louis sought others to satisfy his romantic and sexual desires. Fraser weaves insights into the nature of women's religious lives--as well as such practical matters as contraception--into her sweeping portrait of the king, his court, and his ladies.--From publisher description.

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