By Nancy Mitford
The solar King is a blinding double portrait of Louis XIV and Versailles, the opulent court docket from which he governed. With attribute élan, Nancy Mitford reconstructs the everyday life of king and courtiers in the course of France’s golden age, delivering bright sketches of the architects, artists, and gardeners accountable for the construction of the main extraordinary palace Europe had but obvious. Mitford lays naked the complicated and lethal intrigues within the stateroom and the no much less high-stakes energy struggles within the bed room. on the middle of all of it is Louis XIV himself, the difficult, mercurial, yet remarkably resilient sovereign who guided France via approximately 3 quarters of the Grand Siècle.
Brimming with luxurious element and scrumptious bons mots, and written in a witty, conversational variety, The solar King restores glittering century to vivid lifestyles.
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Extra resources for The Sun King (New York Review Books Classics)
William of Orange after all was once looked at Versailles as a usurper, and his past due spouse and her sister as worse than Goneril and Regan. Portland then mentioned the assassins who, he observed — to his horror and amazement he stated — have been relatively at domestic on the courtroom. Assassins? The King had no thought whom he intended. Portland didn't beat in regards to the bush; he ment the Duke of Berwick (James’s illegitimate son via the sister of Marlborough), Lord Middleton, Sir George Barclay and others, who had all been aware of a plot to ambush King William on his manner out searching and homicide him. (Whereas Charles II in exile had refused to listen to of his supporters killing Cromwell, his brother James used to be eager about taking out his personal son-in-law. even if Louis XIV knew of this plot is a moot aspect. ) The King raised an eyebrow while Portland introduced out the names of the conspirators. He acknowledged he inspiration the Duke of Berwick can have been to England on his father’s enterprise, yet was once not at all all in favour of this sort of plot. As for the others, he appeared to not comprehend them and vaguely stated he had no notion the place they may be. Portland observed that it used to be no stable pursuing this topic. He notion most likely the gents in query will be informed to make themselves scarce whilst he used to be approximately, and that this could be up to he may well desire for. (However, the very subsequent time he went to Versailles there they have been as ordinary. ) The Spanish query had now not but been raised. Portland now describes Versailles, because the King his grasp wanted that he could. Dutch, Protestant and accordingly prejudiced opposed to Louis and all his works, he offers a fair account of homes and gardens, yet has no expertise for describing humans, or might be too discreet; he says he'll do it viva voce while he sees King William. Versailles itself he doesn't like, or won't admit to liking, even though it's definitely very grand, should have rate funds to construct and be dear to take care of. however the smaller homes, Meudon, Marly and Saint-Cloud may be praised unreservedly — Meudon the easiest of all: ‘Your Majesty would like this place’. such a lot unfortunately, seeing that gardens are his maximum curiosity and he's Superintendent of King William’s, the elements is abominable (and was once to be so in the course of his entire stopover at — a sour iciness by way of a chilly, rainy spring; it used to be freezing tough back on four May). The reservoirs are frozen and the fountains positioned out of order by way of the frosts. He has now not obvious any of the hundreds of thousands of plants one hears quite a bit approximately; no longer rather a lot as a snowdrop; every little thing turns out thoroughly lifeless. He has been proven the orange bushes and purely supplies them a pretty strong mark — they're not anything to these in King William’s palaces in Holland. It was once an outstanding favour to be allowed to determine Marly as no different envoy has ever been there. He usually is going wolf-hunting with the Dauphin and Madame, who retains up splendidly, additionally with the Chevalier de Lorraine at Royaumont, yet is rarely invited to head out with the King’s hounds in case on the final minute King James may still desire to achieve this.