Books read Love and Louis XIV The Women in the Life of the Sun King By Antonia Fraser – chiangshistory.org
Louis XIV and the women in his life I had expected this book to be interesting and entertaining but I found it chaotic and at times boring The subject matter is simply too broad Fraser doesn t only look at relationships between Louis and his wife and mistresses but also his mother daughters and in laws It would have been better to focus on only a few women and really explore those relationships thoroughlyThis is
the second book by Antonia Fraser that I ve read and second book by Antonia Fraser that I ve read and were rather disappointing I have no intention to read a third Lady Antonia Fraser is an accomplished historian her Tudor books have enthralled me for years I chose her to introduce me to the French court sadly a disappointment This book is focused on King Louis XIV and the women he loved in his life It begins well with a focus on Louis XIV s mother and regent Anne of Austria Anne was a pious and effective ruler and she left her son with a profound belief in the Catholic Church Partly through her influence Louis abandoned his love affair with Marie Mancini and married the Spanish Infanta Marie Therese After a short period of romance their marriage was stable if loveless Louis was in love with Louise de La Valliere a young woman as passionately in love with God as she was with Louis They had several illegitimate children together before Louis s attention passed on to the far glamorous Francoise Athenais de Rochechouart de Mortemart Athenais was dazzling in beauty and wit and reigned Versailles for about ten years After a short affair with the beautiful but dim Angeliue de Fontanges who died bearing his child Louis moved on to his illegitimate children s governess Francoise de Maintenon She was three years older than he with no connections wealth or reputation and yet Louis was true to her until his death In fact it is rud that after the death of his ueen he married her in a secret morganatic ceremony Whatever the case Louis s remaining years were spent in the War of the Spanish Succession wherein he tried to put his grandson on the Spanish throne and eventually Philip V did reign and marrying his grandchildren by his mistresses to his grandchildren by his wife CreeeepyThere was a real lack of uotes or letters in this book After reading the whole thing I had as little understanding of Louis s character as at the start The women do not shine through either I was confused by the many titles and the incredibly similar names Marie Jeanne Marie Anne Anne Marieugh a situation made worse when a character would be named on pg 100 and then reappear with no explanation on pg 300 Overall a frustrating book about a fascinating period In my post Versailles TV series hangover I wanted to read this to get a sense of the historical reality behind the fiction sadly though this is not Fraser at her best The narrative feels unfocused in comparison with her Mary ueen of Scots and The Gunpowder Plot and that seems to be because she changed the remit of the book mid way She originally planned to write about Louis mistresses then widened it to also cover his relationships with other women his mother Anne of Austria his daughters the wife of his grandson The result is a book which feels messy in its organisation and skimpy in its details The first two sections that take us from Louis birth to the death of his wife Marie Therese are the most pulled together the latter two sections that take in his later crisis of conscience and move away from the gallant image of the virile playboy Sun King are less coherent Ultimately Fraser seems to want to say something about the position of a certain class of women during Louis reign but the narrative itself is organised around his life and the two imperatives seem to be at odds with each otherThis is interesting and entertaining enough but ends up being a somewhat mixed and chaotic enterprise Antonia Fraser is known for her impeccable research and ability to bring history to life Love and Louis XIV is no different The book centres around the Sun King and his relationship with numerous and fascinating women Naturally dividing into five parts it will concentrate on the King's mother Anne of Austria to whom he was devoted; his first important mistress Louise de la Valliere who bore. Undamental uestions that this book doesn t
Really Address They All Lived Each address They lived in each s pockets so nothing can have been a secret yet the fiction had to be maintained The ueen on one occasion actually walked right past the room where Louise La Valli re was going into labour with Louis s love child Are you all right the ueen asked seeing this girl clearly in some pain Louise panicking called back Colic Madame an attack of colic My favourite mistress was Fran oise Ath na s aka Madame de Montespan the only one who seems to be enjoying herself she had a famously sparkling line in conversation and also Fraser seems weirdly shocked by this liked sex a whole lot She s described as having long blonde hair a pouting mouth and eyes that were huge blue and very slightly exophthalmic all of which makes me think casting directors
SHOULD BE CALLING UP AMANDA SEYFRIEDATH NA S HAPPENED be calling up Amanda SeyfriedAth na s happened be married already her husband despite being advised that if your wife s cheating on you with the king you should probably ust keep uiet kicked up a huge fuss about it and ended up getting exiled from court Back on his estate he pulled down the gates to his ch teau telling everyone loudly that his cuckold s horns were now too big to fit through them Classy way to handle itDominating the latter parts of the book is Fran oise d Aubign Madame de Maintenon who was older than Louis and clearly of an emotional support for him than a sexual fling Indeed she didn t really want to be a mistress as such preferring the role of religious advisor and loyal friend but as Fraser puts it she decided that a best friend s duty to Louis XIV did unfortunately include sleeping with him in order to prevent other frivolous less religiously focused people doing it without her own pure motives Louis probably married her in secret after his first ueen diedPerhaps my favourite character at court was not a mistress at all but Louis s sister in law a German princess known as Liselotte She was rather overweight and hated almost everyone especially the royal bastards whom she referred to cheerfully as the mouse droppings in the pepper While all around her were consumed with etiuette and courtesy she was scribbling happily during a particularly nasty cold that she probably looked like a shat on carrot or enjoying impromptu farting competitions with her immediate family the winner could make a noise like a flute I shall look like a shat on carrot Occasionally I uestioned Antonia Fraser s methods She has an admirable desire to make her story readable and compelling but sometimes she takes liberties to get the The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh (The Cavanaughs job done Consider this passageLouise flung herself trembling on the ground before him Only then did his glacial reception she had defied his explicit orders to stay at Versailles convince her of her terrible mistake How much inuietude you might have spared me had you been as tepid in the first days of our acuaintance as you have seemed for some time past You gave me evidence of a great passion I was enchanted and I abandoned myself to loving you to distraction The poignant words were those of a young woman in the celebrated best seller of the time Letters of a Portuguese Nun They might have been spoken word for word by LouiseWha You can t do that You can tust borrow lines from a novel and say Wow historical figures might well have said something a bit similar at least not without a lot of care and signposting This is not coolIf I look out of my kitchen window I can see the building where Louis XIV was born now an overpriced hotel My daughter plays in the enormous gardens of what was once the royal ch teau of Saint Germain en Laye So this is a place and period I am particularly interested in and this book does give you a few clues as to the interesting mixture of sexuality reined in by religious fervour that prevailed at the Sun King s court But in the final analysis I find myself craving something a bit detailed and criticaltl dr Phwoar what a scorcher. H part concentrates on his relations in old age with his daughters granddaughters and the wife of his grandson It will vividly bring to life the vast edifice of Louis XIV's court the magnificence artistic splendour elaborate ritual and in some cases absurdity and misery. ,
Thoroughly enjoyed this review of the women who influenced the Sun King and recommend it There were plenty of parts of this book to like As a history buff i always like when the author includes information on what life was like in the period of the historical figure clothing food religion hygiene etc Some of the passages here were fun and informative to readHowever some parts ust read like a seedy tabloid with sensationalist writing which I feel detracts from what could be a "very educational and informative biography that offers a intimate glimpse into the "educational and informative biography that offers a intimate glimpse into the of the Sun King and his court The I don t know that I am totally unbiased
In My Review Of Thismy review of this as ust from a glance it held many of my favorite things history courtly drama France clever women in high places gorgeous color photo sections and Antonia Fraser I read her Marie Antoinette The Journey at the beginning of 2016 and was extremely impressed and I found my reaction to be the same here I was thoroughly entertained throughout Did you know that Louis the XIV used to be given an enema on a regular basis Or that no matter one s suffering they we re bled from their arms or their legs Now that is some horror stuff right there I can only appreciate the age I m living in with all its advances in medicineThis book is than ust a look at the women in the Sun King s life It contains references to his military expedition As someone who loves his daughters and can t bear the thought of being away from them for very long it blows my mind how for hundreds of years the royalty of Europe sent their girls off to marry crowned douche bags in foreign countries fully knowing that they would almost certainly never see them again They were ostensibly doing this to ensure peace with marriage alliances but IT ALMOST NEVER WORKED In fact as Love and Louis XIV shows these marriages were at least as likely to bring war as they were to bring peace because every time country A would send a princess to country B they wo A detailed look at the reign of Louis XIV and the various women in his life The list begins with his mother Anne of Austria who acted as regent when Louis assumed the throne at age four and then ends with his last mistress Madame de Maintenon In between we get details of his first love a couple other maitresses en titres his wife daughters and in laws My favorite of the bunch was Mary Beatrice d Este who was the wife of the exiled King James II Busty young princess Marie Ad la de set tongues and codpieces wagging today as she made her first appearance in court looking dressed to kill in a daring figure hugging gown The saucy Savoyarde 34 20 34 after corset was presented to future hubby the Dauphin but onlookers said her Alpine attributes also had the King giving her the royal once over Official courtiers were unavailable for comment but sources close to Versailles told us She may only be 11 but that s hardly likely to stop Louis Frankly if we didn t keep a steady supply of hos round here I honestly worry he d start humping the furniture House of Bourbon said another House of Whore bon like This book is essentially
A Louis Uatorzian TabloidTheLouis uatorzian tabloidThe I had with it was that it felt a bit too light to be valuable history but at the same time not uite salacious enough to be enjoyed as ust good gossip Antonia Fraser s approach is to tell the story of Louis XIV s reign through the women that were close to him from his mother Anne of Austria through his wifes and mistresses down to his beloved granddaughter in law Adelaide but although it does contain uite a few fascinating anecdotes overall I felt I didn t finish the book much enlightened than before I startedIt does drive home to you uite how much Louis for want of a better word slutted it up at court The very fact that there was a semi official position for his ma tresse en titre complete with suite of royal apartments kind of amazes me what on earth did the ueen think of it One of many Him several illegitimate children; Athenais Maruise de Montespan who acted as unofficial ueen of Versailles until her involvement in the affair of poisons and of course Marie Therese his wife; and Madame de Maintenon governess to the illegitimate royal children The fift.