King of the World: The Life of Louis XIV


Product Details

$35.00  $32.20
University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 2.0 inches | 2.65 pounds
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About the Author

Philip Mansel is one of Britain's leading historians of France and the Middle East. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, Aleppo: The Rise and Fall of Syria's Great Merchant City; The Eagle in Splendour: Inside the Court of Napoleon; and Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean.


"Why did a king make such blunders? Mansel seeks to find out in this superior study that will appeal to history buffs and may become the go-to biography of Louis XIV."-- "Library Journal"

"Comprehensive and eminently readable, the book is enlivened by surprising facts about Louis, including how his voracious appetite in infancy (he is reported to have thoroughly exhausted eight wet nurses) foreshadowed his cult of self-glorification. . . .Enhanced by lavish, full-color illustrations and meticulous notes and references regarding France's turbulent history and the lifestyle of its royal court, Mansel's book reveals both the glory and depravity of Louis XIV's reign."

-- "Foreword, starred review"

"A wonderfully meticulous look at Louis XIV (1638-1715) from a leading historian of France. . . . An impressive, comprehensive biography of the Sun King--a must-add to any Francophile's library."

-- "Kirkus"
"You will find no more comprehensive biography of this extraordinary monarch who reigned from 1643-1715. . . . (Mansel's) genius in King of the World lies in unpacking the complexities of Louis' royal court. The contrast is chillingly made between a starving country and the deplorable but engrossing ostentation of Louis' most enduring creation: the Palace of Versailles."-- "Financial Times"
"No other English-language biography has so successfully given us a portrait of [Louis] as man and monarch. . . . Mansel treads the line between the academic and the accessible effectively, explaining the context of the French monarchy, diplomacy, medicine, Catholicism, queenship, fashion and art."-- "Times Literary Supplement"
"The best single-volume account of the reign in any language."-- "Sunday Times"