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Athenais:
The Life of Louis XIV's Mistress, the Real Queen of France

by Lisa Hilton

ISBN 0316084905 / 9780316084901 / 0-316-08490-5
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

As lovely and charming as she was shrewd and calculating, Athnas de Montespan became the most powerful noblewoman of her day by brilliantly manipulating her forbidden role as mistress of King Louis XIV. With a lively narrative style that reads like fiction, Lisa Hilton reveals the woman behind the most dazzling days of the Sun King's reign.

As a lover, Athnas risked the disgrace of adultery to conduct an affair that scandalized Europe. As a patron, she supported the leaders of the cultural renaissance, including Molire and Racine. As a mother, she was the ancestor of most of the royal houses of Europe. The greatest beauty of her day, she lived publicly and sensationally until bizarre accusations of witchcraft forced her from grace in the "Affair of the Poisons," a mystery that remains unsolved.

ATH`NAS is an informative and thrilling look at a true age of extremes and a woman who achieved the heights of power at a time when it was denied to most of her sex. [via]