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

Extended Audio Sample Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King, by Antonia Fraser
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,951 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Antonia Fraser Narrator: Justine Eyre Publisher: Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2006 ISBN:
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I believe that the histories which will be written about this court after we are all 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 will think they are just fairytales. Thus wrote Louis XIV's sister-in-law.

Antonia Fraser does indeed entertain us by bringing to life these very fairytales, vividly portraying the vast edifice of Louis XIV's court between the years 1643 and 1715. Brilliantly exploring the rich dynamic that existed between Louis XIV and the many fascinating women who ornamented his personal life, Fraser examines not only Louis' mistresses, but also the wider story of his relationships with women in general.

Fraser portrays the gallantry, from friendship shading to love, the subtle art of courtship, the more frivolous and even dangerous pursuit of flirtation, and the sensual libertinage ending in sex. But if gallantry, or sex, is one theme of this audiobook, then religion is another, and it is in the connection between the two that the fascination of Louis XIV's relationships with his mistresses lies. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 2/15/2014

    " Really fascinating history of the French court. Full of scandal, world conquest and fountains. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate O'Mara | 2/10/2014

    " Louis the King, Louis the Lover, you'll enjoy reading about the life of this unforgetable monarch. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aura | 2/5/2014

    " Not her best work. I adore Antonia Fraser and have read her work religiously - I would follow her almost anywhere, but this book is far below her usual high standard and had it been written by anyone else I would not have finished it. Because it was written by her, I kept hoping it would get better, but I'm sorry to report that it didn't. It was in dire need of another editorial read, serious copyediting, and ruthless cutting. This sounds, perhaps, nitpicky and persnickety, but the lack of fluidity of the narrative was so extreme that it actually distracted me from the engaging subject matter. That said, Fraser's ability to bring to life another era in a way that fascinates and enchants the reader doesn't fail her here, so I can't quite bring myself to give it one star. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 1/14/2014

    " 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 1/7/2014

    " I was very disappointing. I would have liked to see the extravagance of the period better reflected in a very dry recitation of people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 linda | 1/2/2014

    " Reading Antonia Fraser writing on the women that spangled Louis XIV's court makes you incredibly grateful for her scholarship and fluid prose, especially if you've read a locus of writing on the subject. Fraser's survey of Louis the XIV's female influences is fascinatingly comprehensive, interestingly salacious, and curiously journalistic. Most historians tend to take a point of view and set up camp there, and not many have the conviction or steady hand for their thesis to be, "it's complicated." Fraser pulls it off in this book without seeming waffling or poorly researched, and every relationship documented -- from Louis and his mother to Louis and Madam Right Now -- is nuanced and rich. As much as I loved it, so much of the momentum for reading this book (especially in the second half) was motivated by personal interest in the subject, and not particularly driven by captivating storytelling. Partly that's a function of Louis getting older, slowing down, settling down with his secret morganatic marriage and ceasing his habitual tapping of every piece of available ass in court. Partly it's because the second half loses its tight narrative focus on Louis, having to spend a lot more time branching outward to cover the various tragic deaths of his dauphin, his other dauphin, the dauphiness -- essentially everybody at court. Fantastic, comprehensive reading if this subject is in your sweet spot, but not recommended for general curious audiences. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber | 12/31/2013

    " Even if I weren't a total history nerd, I'd still have to recommend this book. Well-written, humorous, insightful - in short, everything I have come to expect from Antonia Frasier. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alecia | 12/23/2013

    " 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! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russamun82 | 12/19/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rae | 12/9/2013

    " I enjoyed this book. I thought that it might be fluffy, seeing as it is a popular history, but I was pleasantly surprised. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 SlushTurtle | 12/4/2013

    " An easy, enjoyable read, as I find most of Fraser's works. I didn't know much about the Sun King, so it was most educational. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathlyn | 11/1/2013

    " One of those books where 3 stars doesn't do it justice but 4 stars is probably too generous! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 5/3/2013

    " What a player! Very enjoyable and it's nice to get the female perspective from history that this book includes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meagan | 4/29/2013

    " I like history and Fraser makes it wonderful to read about. Interesting to learn about the life of the Sun King and especially the women involved. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sbaird | 3/18/2013

    " It is interesting how many women influenced Louis XIV. I enjoyed this Fraser book immensely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 3/11/2013

    " I was never into Versaille and the silly society there, but this book was a revelation - not just a biography of a king but an exploration of his world viewed by the many women in and out of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sophie | 12/4/2012

    " 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 Alicia | 10/8/2012

    " 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 Monica | 9/2/2012

    " 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. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura Duggan | 7/28/2012

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie | 10/6/2011

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

  • 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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