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Download Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Antonia Fraser
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,952 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Antonia Fraser Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Books on Tape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2006 ISBN:
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The superb historian and biographer Antonia Fraser, author of Marie Antoinette, casts new light on the splendor and the scandals of the reign of Louis XIV in this dramatic, illuminating look at the women in his life.

The self-proclaimed Sun King, Louis XIV, ruled over the most glorious and extravagant court in 17th-century Europe. Now, Antonia Fraser goes behind the well-known tales of Louis' accomplishments and follies, exploring in riveting detail his intimate relationships with women.

The king's mother, Anne of Austria, had been in a childless marriage for 22 years before she gave birth to Louis XIV. A devout Catholic, she instilled in her son a strong sense of piety and fought successfully for his right to absolute power. In 1660, Louis married his first cousin, Marie-Thérèse, in a political arrangement. While unfailingly kind to the official Queen of Versailles, Louis sought others to satisfy his romantic and sexual desires. After a flirtation with his sister-in-law, his first important mistress was Louise de La Vallière, who bore him several children before being replaced by the tempestuous and brilliant Athénaïs, the Marquise de Montespan. Later, when Athénaïs' reputation was tarnished, the king continued to support her publicly as Athénaïs left court for a life of repentance. Meanwhile, her children's governess, the intelligent and seemingly puritanical Françoise de Maintenon, had already won the King's affections. In a relationship in complete contrast to his physical obsession with Athénaïs, Louis XIV lived happily with Madame de Maintenon for the rest of his life, very probably marrying her in secret. In the end, when his grandson's child bride, the enchanting Adelaide of Savoy, came to Versailles, she lightened the King's last years, until tragedy struck.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie | 2/18/2014

    " Good history, got a little tired of Louis and all his women. I didnt get a great feel for who he was besides that "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sophie | 2/17/2014

    " Interesting and well-researched account of the life of Louis XIV and the women in his life - his mother, wife and several mistresses. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 KeAnne | 2/16/2014

    " It was difficult at times to follow the many, many generations of Frency nobility. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsy Brainerd | 2/14/2014

    " I read/listened to this book to complement The Mistress of the Sun. It was excellent! Fraser presents a well-rounded, well-researched examination of Louis XIV, viewing him through his various relationships with the women in his life, beginning with his mother, and including his wives, mistresses, and relatives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vickey Foggin | 1/29/2014

    " When I am struggling through the fifth hour of my daily train commute, I like to imagine I am sitting in the garden at Versailles, surrounded by blossoming orange trees in silver pots, misted by splashing fountains and watching princesses with dark Italian eyes flirt with a charming King. Antonia Fraser successfully describes all the Madames, Monsieurs, Louis, Louisas, and Maries with such great attention to character that they're memorable and interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Raquel | 1/10/2014

    " Fascinating look at the women in Louis XIV's life -- his mother, his mistresses and his wife -- and how they shaped his personality as well as policies. Fraser writes with sly wit about the French court, and "Love and Louis XIV" strikes that delicate balance between delicious gossip and scholarly analysis. The second half wanes a bit -- as does the Sun King's philandering ways and sexual appetites -- but by then I was so fully invested in the characters that I couldn't stop reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 1/8/2014

    " I learned much i never knew about the Sun King. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica | 1/3/2014

    " nice twist on a bio of Louis. A good mix of his life and the ladies. You were able to get a sense of what was going on in the wider world (wars, etc) without getting bogged down in the details. And, interestingly in view of my thoughts on Mistress of the Sun, they were all that afraid of everything. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 1/2/2014

    " Short review: A+ or 5/5 stars for a wonderful look at the women in Louis XIV (The Sun King)'s life and how they were instrumental in the success of his reign. Such a wonderfully researched book that is both thorough and clear-headed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosanne | 12/20/2013

    " Very readable. Perhaps a bit long, but not so long that I skipped ahead. A very good and light foray into the life of French royals. Might someday read her Marie Antoinette, or her Henry VII. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 12/10/2013

    " Biography about the women who influenced Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, beginning with his mother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cleolinda | 11/29/2013

    " I was slightly disappointed in this one--I was expecting a book about a king's mistresses to be a little juicier. Nonetheless, it's a surprising look at a king who spent the first half of his life juggling women--and the second half in a devoted secret marriage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 11/18/2013

    " This book is probably most interesting if you have some background knowledge of Louis XIV... otherwise it contains a lot of information for readers who aren't at least somewhat familiar with the court of Louis XIV. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura Duggan | 10/7/2013

    " After reading everything in sight while at the beach for a week I was left with only this to read. It may be the only book I have not finished. I found it boring and the amount of minor characters to be stifling, especially when adding in the crazy long French names and nicknames. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 AidenAlexandres Mommy | 11/21/2012

    " Heard this on my iPod (I have an audible account). Nice distraction for sitting in traffic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russamun82 | 10/9/2012

    " What a busy king. I was also convinced that Le roi did remarry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michele Drier | 8/3/2012

    " Antonia Fraser has done it again! Lovely bok. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 cheryl | 7/20/2012

    " Interesting insight into the personality of Louis XIV and the events that shaped him. A definitely good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 7/14/2012

    " I read this as an audio book. It was very difficult to follow the cast of characters - you would need a scorecard. However, it was a facinating look into the life of people in the 17th Century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alicia | 12/24/2011

    " Give me another six months, and I'll be an expert on European royalty. This is one of the best accounts out there. It chronicles the life of Louise XIV, and the women that shaped his life. I found it fascinating, never tedious, and extremely well-researched. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alecia | 9/15/2011

    " Probably my least favorite Fraser biography so far. It was a good read, as always, but interested me less than some of the others. Would still recommend! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rena Jane | 5/29/2011

    " I just started this book and it already has gripped me. I love Fraser's style and the things she details are always the little personal things I want to know about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 4/20/2011

    " Short review: A+ or 5/5 stars for a wonderful look at the women in Louis XIV (The Sun King)'s life and how they were instrumental in the success of his reign. Such a wonderfully researched book that is both thorough and clear-headed.

    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashleigh | 3/25/2011

    " Somewhat boring and not what I expected. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 1/3/2011

    " Very well written history of the women of Louis' Court. As Karleen Koen says, he was the rock star of his time. It also explains the intricacies of French Royal Titles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaylynn | 12/27/2010

    " Fraser makes history read like an interesting novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russamun82 | 12/15/2010

    " What a busy king. I was also convinced that Le roi did remarry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee | 9/27/2010

    " Actually, I listened to the CDs as I drove around a lot. A good listen, at that. I only started to lose interest when it moved into his grandchildren, and I began having trouble keeping track of who was who in my head. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie | 6/27/2010

    " Good history, got a little tired of Louis and all his women. I didnt get a great feel for who he was besides that "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 S.S. | 4/29/2010

    " As a work of fiction, this is pretty dull. AS history it is filled with political and romantic intrigue. Loved the details on the women in the Sun King's life, but the politics of the court shine. "

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About the Author
Author Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of Mary Queen of Scots, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and Faith and Treason, among other novels. She is also famous for her Jemima Shore series of mysteries. She and her husband, Harold Pinter, live in London.

About the Narrator

Rosalyn Landor has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the Audie Award. She has worked as an actor since the age of seven, both in Europe and the United States. Her extensive list of credits includes leading roles in film, theater, and audio productions, as well as in various miniseries on all the major television networks and in such productions as Masterpiece Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes and Rumpole of the Bailey.