princess palatine

I believe that the histories that will be written about this court after we are gone will be better and more entertaining than any novel, and I am afraid that those who come after us will not be able to believe them and think they are just fairy tales.

Elizabeth Charlotte, Princess Palatine

A week or so ago I was asked if I could do a rec with books about Louis XIV. So here it is, since it’s a big subject, it’ll have a few categories.

  • Personal life

Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King, Antonia Fraser, (Thanks to quality-cafe for the suggestion <3)

 Louis XIV,  a Royal life, Olivier Bernier

A woman’s life in the court of the Sun King : letters of Liselotte von der Pfalz, 1652–1722, Elisabeth Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orléans, translated by Elborg Forster, Johns Hopkins (This one is a very good read if you want to know more about the king’s court, because it’s all seen from a direct witness, the palatine princess, she writes a lot about the king, her brother in law which she admired greatly.

The Memoirs of the Duke of Saint-Simon on the reign of Louis XIV, and the Regency, Translated by Bayle St. John. (Another Direct witness, which is pretty interesting also)

Louis XIV, Peter Robert Campbell

  • Political life

Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents , William Beik

  • France under his rule

The splendid century, life in the France of Louis XIV, W.H Lewis

The Affair of the Poisons: Murder, Infanticide, and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV, Anne Somerset (Don’t know about this one tbh… )

The Great Nation: France from Louis XIV to Napoleon, Colin Jones

Louis XIV and Twenty Million Frenchmen, Pierre Goubert.

  • In French

Louis XIV, Jean-Christian Petitfils

Versailles, la Passion de Louis XIV, Jean-Christian Petitfils

Louis XIV et vingt-millions de français, Pierre Goubert

La mort de Louis XIV, Saint Simon

Les guerres de Louis XIV, John Lynn

Les Reines de France au temps des Bourbons, Simone Bertière

Le procès Fouquet, Simone Bertière

Cette Pute me fera mourir, Saint Simon, édited by François Raviez (highly recommanded if you want a good laugh at the king’s court)

  • Arts

The Triumph of Pleasure: Louis XIV and the Politics of Spectacle, Georgia Cowart.

The Story of Versailles, Francis Loring Payne

Time and Ways of Knowing Under Louis XIV: Moliere, Sevigne, Lafayette, Roland Racevskis

  • Music

And a bit of music to accompany your reading:

Rameau: Les Indes Gallantes, La Chapelle royale et Philippe Herrewhege

Jean Baptiste Lully: Le Roi Danse, Köln & Reinhard Goebel

Marc Antoine Charpentier , Musica Antiqua Köln

I believe that the histories which will be written about this court after we are all gone,’ she wrote, ‘will be better and more entertaining than any novel, and I am afraid that those who come after us will not be able to believe them and will think that they are just fairy tales.
—  Liselotte, Duchesse d'Orleans quoted in Love and Louis XIV, by Antonia Fraser