Mistresses and wives, mothers and daughters - Antonia Fraser brilliantly explores the relationships which existed between The Sun King and the women in his life. This includes not only Louis XIV's mistresses, principally Louise de La Valliere, Athenais de Montespan, and the puritanical Madame de Maintenon, but also the wider story of his relationships with women in general, including his mother Anne of Austria, his two sisters-in-law who were Duchesses d'Orleans in succession, Henriette-Anne and Liselotte, his wayward illegitimate daughters, and lastly Adelaide, the beloved child-wife of his grandson.
Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature.Her previous books include MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, KING CHARLES II, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMAN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND which won the Wolfson History Prize, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY, PERILOUS QUESTION; THE DRAMA OF THE GREAT REFORM BILL 1832 and THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS: THE FIGHT FOR RIGHTS 1829. MUST YOU GO?,a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010, and MY HISTORY; A MEMOIR OF GROWING UP in 2015. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at
A sparkling history which captures the giddy quality of the times SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "Vividly capturing 17th-century Europe's most extravagant court.' -- Mark Comber THE DAILY EXPRESS Antonia Fraser's colourful history emphasises the conflict between private pleasure and religious dut in the life of Europe's grandest Catholic ruler. -- Simon Shaw THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Fraser brilliantly dissects the intense rivalry of the ladies who indulged in 'commerce' with the king. -- Ian Pindar THE OBSERVER this enjoyable account. Fraser brings to life the female stars circling the Sun King in an account that successfully combines erudition with gossipy stories of the kind the Versailles courtiers loved so much. THE SUNDAY TIMES Louis springs to life as fresh and as fascinating as ever GOOD BOOK GUIDE