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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”.

Louis XIV: The Real Sun King is a short little book stuffed full of facts about the life of Le Roi Soleil. It’s concise, it’s to the point, and it’s the perfect book to read if you want to dip your toe into the history of this fascinating monarch.

When I picked this book up, I knew the very basics about Louis – and most of what I’d come across about him was either in my reading about Charles II, or thanks to the Canal + series “Versailles” starring George Blagden. By the time I finished this little book – and it didn’t take me long – I had a much better footing in the basics of the Sun King, his court and France at the time. It certainly is a fascinating era and this provides an excellent foot in the door if you want a nice little starter guide to an incredibly complex history.

As always Pen & Sword have put together a beautiful book. It’s beautifully edited and the photographs within the text really work. As well as that, the cover is absolutely STUNNING.

Von Goeth and Harper have done really well with this piece of work, proving to be writers who are able to grip their audience and pull them in with incredibly engaging prose. I certainly look forward to reading more of their work – hurry up and write your next one, guys.

Thank you to Pen & Sword for providing me with a review copy of this book. Louis XIV: The Real Sun King is available here.

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