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The Sun King
ISBN 0140239677 / 9780140239676 / 0-14-023967-7
Publisher Penguin Books
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This work takes as its subject Louis XIV at Versailles - from the moment he decided to transform his father's hunting lodge into the greatest palace in Europe to his death there 54 years later. It covers the daily life of the king, the court and the government during the period of France's apogee in military power and artistic achievement. The book discusses the plans for and the building of the palace, and the creation of remarkable elaborate works of art with which it was filled. The book reconstructs the course of Louis's love affairs, culminating in his secret marriage to Madame de Maintenon, episodes such as the affair of the poisons, the creation of the School for Girls at Saint-Cyr, Lord Portland's embassy and the marriage of the Duchess of Bourgogne. [via]