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Publication in France:
10 September 2015

936 pages

Louis XIV as He was seen

Alexandre MARAL

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Louis XIV took great pains to come across to his subjects as aloof and infallible. As a result, the true nature of his character, eclipsed by his royal persona, is shrouded in mystery. Who was the real man beneath the king? Alexandre Maral, head curator at the Musée de Versailles, has sought out the personal accounts of those who came into closest contact with the Sun King - servants, doctors, courtiers both male and female, ministers and artists.

Following the chronology of the major periods of the reign, they form a vivid narrative which spans the entire lifetime of this most famous of all French sovereigns. Charting the path from his perilous childhood to his tragic old age, and encompassing his great loves and moments of glory, this book brings together over 120 texts (ranging from one to ten pages in length) which describe and account for the universality of his fame and appeal.

The personal testimonies include: the letters of Mme de Sévigné and Princess Palatine, the memoirs of Saint-Simon, Mme de Motteville, the Marquis de Dangeau and the Abbé de Choisy, the reports of the king's doctors, the writings of Voltaire, and extracts from the memoirs and the will of the king himself.
An expert on Louis XIV, Alexandre Maral is head curator at the Château de Versailles. He is the author of Le Roi-Soleil et Dieu (2012), Le Roi, la cour et Versailles (2013) and Les Derniers Jours de Louis XIV (2014), all published by Perrin.
More information in french

"L'ouvrage que publient les éditions Omnibus sous le titre Louis XIV tel qu'ils l'ont vu, dans le même esprit que celui consacré l'an passé à Marie-Antoinette, est un document tout à fait remarquable, pour ne pas dire indispensable à qui désire vraiment approfondir sa connaissance du Grand Siècle."Paris Normandie 10/09/2015

"Pour approcher le Roi-Soleil sans risquer de se brûler les yeux, on lorgnera du côté du passionnant Louis XIV tel qu'ils l'ont vu (Omnibus)."LIRE 18/08/2015