Naturally dividing into five parts, it concentrates on the King's mother, Anne of Austria, to whom he was devoted; his first important mistress, Louise de la Valliere, who bore him several illegitimate children; Athenais Marquise de Montespan, who acted as unofficial Queen of Versailles until her involvement in the affair of poisons; Marie Therese, his wife, of course; and Madame de Maintenon, governess to the illegitimate royal children. The fifth part concentrates on his relations in old age with his daughters, granddaughters, and the wife of his grandson.
Fraser vividly bring to life the vast edifice of Louis XIV's court - the magnificence, artistic splendour, elaborate ritual, and, in some cases, the absurdity and misery.
©2006 Antonia Fraser; (P)2006 Orion Publishing Group Ltd
"As Pat Hodge reads (superbly!)....Fraser draws the listener into the world of splendour and intrigue, injecting fresh life into the long-dead characters who inhabited it." ( Daily Express)
"This audiobook represents an ideal three-way marriage of subject, author, and reader." (The Scotsman)
"Hodge reads with queenly grace." (The Sunday Times)
It's sometimes hard to believe all these things actually happened, it was an Insightful exploration into what we now know to have been the typical French monarchy.
"Cupid was busy!"
As expected, from Antonia Fraser, another good book on royalty. Read superbly by Patricia Hodge. It covers, sorry for the pun, King Louis XIV of France's love life and all the women who loved him, from his infancy until his death. I must admit I thought there were a lot more than AF talked about. Good listening, good book what more could you want.
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