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Josephine Wilkinson

Louis XIV: The Power and the Glory

Pegasus Books

The TV series Versailles ends this spring. I’m a fan, though it strays from historical fact. Josephine Wilkinson’s Louis XIV: The Power and the Glory offers perspective on France’s Sun King. Wilkinson lays out key influences on Louis’ character—notably his mother, and the rebellion of the nobility that nearly cost him his throne early in his reign. She shows us Louis as patron of the arts, lover (of multiple women) and politician (what he called his “trade”) and his dubious skill as a general. His vindictive side is also examined. Unlike the Palace of Versailles, it’s not pretty.

– Bruce Collier
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