Love and Louis XIV

The Women in the Life of the Sun King
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (13.32 hours)
Product Number: Z100011169
Released: Oct 17, 2006
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780739346815
Narrator/s: Rosalyn Landor
Publisher: Books on Tape
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The superb historian and biographer Antonia Fraser, author of Marie Antoinette, casts new light on the splendor and the scandals of the reign of Louis XIV in this dramatic, illuminating look at the women in his life. 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 riveting detail his intimate relationships with women. The king's mother, Anne of Austria, had been in a childless marriage for twenty-two 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-ThErEse, in a political arrangement. While unfailingly kind to the official Queen of Versailles, Louis sought others to satisfy his romantic and sexual desires. After a flirtation with his sister-in-law, his first important mistress was Louise de La ValliEre, who bore him several children before being replaced by the tempestuous and brilliant AthEnaIs, marquise de Montespan. Later, when AthEnaIs's reputation was tarnished, the King continued to support her publicly as AthEnaIs left court for a life of repentance. Meanwhile her children's governess, the intelligent and seemingly puritanical Francoise de Maintenon, had already won the King's affections; in a relationship in complete contrast to his physical obsession with AthEnaIs, Louis XIV lived happily with Madame de Maintenon for the rest of his life, very probably marrying her in secret. When his grandson's child bride, the enchanting Adelaide of Savoy, came to Versaille she lightened the King's last years - until tragedy struck. With consummate skill, Antonia Fraser weaves insights into the nature of women's religious lives - as well as such practical matters as contraception - into her magnificent, sweeping portrait of the king, his court, and his ladies.

Author(s): Antonia Fraser
Original Publish Date: Oct 17, 2006

All formats/editions

Author(s): Antonia Fraser
Product Number EB00148427
Released: Dec 27, 2013
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: #9780307487759

Professional reviews

"Any nonfiction account of royalty can be tricky--complex family trees and complicated names of people and places can be stumbling blocks for readers. Happily, the audio version of Antonia Fraser's study of Louis XIV is in the capable hands of Rosalyn Landor, whose brisk, efficient reading makes short work of a long history. True to its title, this history chronicles the lives of the Sun King's female influences, from his mother to his mistresses. Landor's resonant, precise enunciation easily navigates Louis's lineage and delivers any name with aplomb. Hers is an animated, pleasant voice for a nonfiction text, and, combined with Fraser's trademark skill with language, the history unfolds with grace. L.B.F. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"

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