Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9780226690896 Will Publish September 2020 USA DEPEND PHILLIPPINES
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King of the World

The Life of Louis XIV

Philip Mansel

King of the World

Philip Mansel

608 pages | 57 color plates, 2 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2020
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9780226690896 Will Publish September 2020 USA DEPEND PHILLIPPINES
E-book $35.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226690926 Will Publish September 2020 USA DEPEND PHILLIPPINES
Louis XIV was a man in pursuit of glory. Not content to be the ruler of a world power, he wanted the power to rule the world. And, for a time, he came tantalizingly close.

Philip Mansel’s King of the World is the most comprehensive and up-to-date biography in English of this hypnotic, flawed figure who continues to captivate our attention. This lively work takes Louis outside Versailles and shows the true extent of his global ambitions, with stops in London, Madrid, Constantinople, Bangkok, and beyond. We witness the importance of his alliance with the Spanish crown and his success in securing Spain for his descendants, his enmity with England, and his relations with the rest of Europe, as well as Asia, Africa, and the Americas. We also see the king’s effect on the two great global diasporas of Huguenots and Jacobites, and their influence on him as he failed in his brutal attempts to stop Protestants from leaving France. Along the way, we are enveloped in the splendor of Louis’s court and the fascinating cast of characters who prostrated and plotted within it.
King of the World is exceptionally researched, drawing on international archives and incorporating sources who knew the king intimately, including the newly released correspondence of Louis’s second wife, Madame de Maintenon. Mansel’s narrative flair is a perfect match for this grand figure, and he brings the Sun King’s world to vivid life.

This is a global biography of a global king, whose power was extensive but also limited by laws and circumstances, and whose interests and ambitions stretched far beyond his homeland. Through it all, we watch Louis XIV progressively turn from a dazzling, attractive young king to a belligerent reactionary who sets France on the path to 1789. It is a convincing and compelling portrait of a man who, three hundred years after his death, still epitomizes the idea of le grand monarque.
Contents
List of Illustrations
Maps
Family Trees

Introduction: A Thousand Years of France

1 The Gift of God
2 Our Good City of Paris
3 The Struggle for France
4 M. le Cardinal
5 The Power of Queens
6 Fouquet’s Fall
7 Making France Work
8 The Pursuit of Immortality: The Louvre and Versailles
9 Conquering Flanders
10 Fighting the Netherlands
11 To the Rhine
12 The King Outdoors
13 Inside Versailles
14 Inside Louis XIV
15 The Global King: From the Mississippi to the Mekong
16 The Huguenot Cataclysm
17 England Changes Sides: The Flights of King James
18 France against Europe
19 Spain Changes Sides: The Accession of King Philip
20 The Triumph of Europe
21 Towards the Precipice
22 Nemesis Averted
23 Funeral Games
24 The Shadow of Versailles
 
Acknowledgements
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Review Quotes
Library Journal
"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."
Foreword, starred review

“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.”


 
Kirkus

 “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.”

Financial Times
“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.”
Times Literary Supplement
“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.”
Sunday Times
“The best single-volume account of the reign in any language.”
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