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Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King    by Antonia Fraser order for
Love and Louis XIV
by Antonia Fraser
Order:  USA  Can
Nan A. Talese, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Michael Graves

Antonia Fraser has once again written a wonderful historical novel. This time it's set in pre-revolutionary France and is about Louis the 14th and his life at court. He was a King at the age of five and reigned for seventy-two years. This work stresses the varied relationships with women in the life of the Sun King - encompassing his mother, wife and three prominent mistresses.

This is a most readable book that doesn't miss a detail of the glamour and tragedy of life at Versailles. Fraser has a knack of finding interesting personal anecdotes that add life and vigor to an otherwise historical text. She has an ability to successfully meld accuracy and style. The reader gets an intimate feel for 17th century life as the King wages love and war, always seeking personal glory. A parallel theme in the book is the power of the Catholic Church and its influence on the lives of, in this case, the aristocracy.

This book is of course interesting, but even more, it is a joy to read. Fraser is a consummate historian and bibliographer who continues to intrigue and please her readers.

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