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Louis XIV, the Real Sun King (Paperback)

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By Jules Harper, Aurora von Goeth
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9781526726391
Published: 6th June 2018

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Innovator. Tyrant. Consummate showman. Passionate lover of women.

After the death of King Louis XIII in 1643, the French crown went to his first-born son and heir, four-year old Louis XIV. In the extraordinary seventy-two years that followed, Louis le Grand - France’s self-styled ‘Sun King’ - ruled France and its people, leaving his unique and permanent mark on history and shaping fashion, art, culture and architecture like none other before. This frank and concise book gives the reader a personal glimpse into the Sun King’s life and times as we follow his rise in power and influence: from a miraculous royal birth no one ever expected to the rise of king as absolute monarch, through the evolution of the glittering Château de Versailles, scandals and poison, four wars and many more mistresses… right up to his final days.

Absolute monarch. Appointed by God.

This is Louis XIV, the man. We will uncover his glorious and not-so-glorious obsessions. His debilitating health issues. His drive and passions. And we will dispel some myths, plus reveal the people in his intimate circle working behind the scenes on the Louis propaganda machine to ensure his legacy stayed in the history books forever.

This easy-to-read narrative is accompanied by a plethora of little-known artworks, so if you’re a Louis XIV fan or student, or just eager to know more about France's most famous king, we invite you to delve into court life of 17th century French aristocracy, the period known as Le Grand Siècle– “The Grand Century”.

The French king still has a huge influence today, through music, comedy, dance and his splendid palace. He is an endlessly riveting object of study, and this book is an excellent addition to the collection.

NetGalley, reviewed by Lisa Sanderson

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An interesting and compact biography of the Sun King. A good starting book, with a lot of great pictures.

Strongly recommended to those who want to start reading about Louis XIV.

NetGalley, reviewed by Anna Maria Giacomasso

An engaging, quick little biography of the famous French monarch.

NetGalley, reviewed by Nicki Markus

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a lovely compact biography of Louis XIV of France. The great aspect and selling point of this book is that it provides a readable comprehensive foundation on the life of Louis XIV. If you like the period or want to know more about France and Europe at this time, this is the perfect place to start. This was a king to whom the entire history of Europe pivots, his importance to not just European but modern global history is incalculable. While no book can say everything about him and his age nor should it, we do need to learn the basic facts first about Louis XIV. This book does this with a well written narrative, excellent period illustrations and with a clear factual biography.

NetGalley, reviewed by Willy Marz

As featured in

The Bookseller 9/3/18

About Jules Harper

Jules is a former office manager, software and workplace trainer, and has published over ten novels world-wide under a pen name. She also teaches writing craft and workshops at national conferences, written articles on writing technique and process, and is currently plotting two fiction series set in 17th century France.


About Aurora von Goeth

Aurora von Goeth and Jules Harper both share a deep love and appreciation of history, in particular 17th century France. For the last ten years, Aurora’s primary research and area of interest is firmly in this time period, and her articles can be seen on her historical blog www.partylike1660.com. She is currently working on her next non-fiction book.

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