17th Century History

17th Century History

English language books

Louis XIV by Philippe Erlanger ~ Philippe Erlanger portrays Louis over the decades with a novelist’s psychological insight. He shows the crucial effect of a childhood of neglect and humiliation, amid the horrors of civil war, on the formation of Louis’ personality and his subsequent behaviour as king. The young man imbued with a fierce passion for life and love, the haughty autocrat who identified himself with the State, the creator of a spectacular style of leadership that became a tradition, the sovereign confronting death in the same inflexible manner in which he had confronted life – for more than half a century the solitary figure of Louis XIV dominated Europe.

 

The Sun King: Louis Fourteenth at Versailles by Nancy MitfordThis deservedly famous book brings a glittering century to life, taking as its subject Louis XIV at Versailles – from the moment he decided to transform his father’s hunting lodge into the greatest palace in Europe, to his death there 54 years later. Focusing on the daily life of the King, the Court and the government during the period of France’s apogee of military power and artistic achievement, this lavishly illustrated book covers the course of Louis XIV’s love affairs, culminating in his secret marriage to Madame de Maintenon, the affair of the poison, the creation of St. Cyr, Lord Portland’s embassy and the marriage of the Duchess of Bourgogne.

 

Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser ~ The self-proclaimed Sun King, Louis XIV ruled over the most glorious and extravagant court in seventeenth-century Europe. Now, Antonia Fraser goes behind the well-known tales of Louis’s accomplishments and follies, exploring in riveting detail his intimate relationships with women.

 

 

The Fabrication Of Louis XIV by Peter Burke ~ In this engrossing book, an internationally respected historian gives an account of contemporary representations of Louis XIV-in paintings and engravings, medals and sculptures, plays, ballets, and operas-to show how the making of a royal image illuminates the relationship between art and power.

 

 
The Affair of the Poisons: Murder, Infanticide, and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV by Anne Somerset ~ The Affair of the Poisons, as it became known, was an extraordinary episode that took place in France during the reign of Louis XIV. When poisoning and black magic became widespread, arrests followed. Suspects included those among the highest ranks of society. Many were tortured and numerous executions resulted. Anne Somerset has gone back to original sources, letters and earlier accounts of the affair. By the end of her account, she reaches firm conclusions on various crucial matters. The Affair of the Poisons is an enthralling account of a sometimes bizarre period in French history.

 

Athenais: The Life of Louis XIV’s Mistress, the Real Queen Of France by Lisa Hilton ~ In her biography, Hilton chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, known as “the real Queen of France,” who reigned as official mistress to Louis XIV during the most glorious period of “the splendid century.”

 

 

 

A Prince of Pleasure: Philippe of France and His Court, 1640-1701 by Hugh Stokes ~ An account on the life of Philippe de France, brother of Louis XIV’s.

 

 

 

 

Brother to the Sun King: Philippe, Duke of Orleans by Nancy Nichols Barker ~ In battle he fought with legendary valor …At court, dressed in silks and ribbons, he openly favored his male lovers …Despised but feared by his brother, he was the perpetual loser in a lifelong sibling rivalry …Brother to the Sun King: Philippe, Duke of Orleans.

 

 

 

Louis XIV and the Parlements: The Assertion of Royal Authority by John J. Hurt ~ This study examines the political and economic relationship between Louis XIV and the parlements of France, the Parlement of Paris and all the provincial tribunals. It explains how the king managed to overcome the century-old opposition of the parlements to new legislation, and to impose upon them the strict political discipline for which this reign is known. The work calls into question the current revisioninst understanding of the reign of Louis XIV and insists that, after all, absolute government had a harsh reality at its core. When the king died in 1715, the regent, Philippe d’Orleans, after a brief attempt to befriend the parlements through compromise, resorted to the authoritarian methods of Louis XIV and perpetuated the Sun King’s political and economic legacy.

 

The Society of Princes: The Lorraine-Guise and the Conservation of Power and Wealth in Seventeenth-Century France by Jonathan Spangler ~ Jonathan Spangler investigates how an aristocratic family operated within political culture, including facets of patronage (political, ecclesiastical, military, and the arts) and the meaning of dynasticism itself (marriages, testaments, women’s roles, multiplicity of loyalties). The result is a thorough examination of the nature of crown-noble relations in the era of absolutism as seen through the example of the Lorraine-Guise. It sheds light on how the family which had so threatened the equilibrium of the late Valois monarchy became one of the strongest pillars supporting the regime of the later Bourbons.

 

Madame de Sevigne: A Life and Letters by Frances Mossiker ~ This biography of Mme de Sevigne brings to life the world of seventeenth-century France, a mother and her daughter, a writer and her brilliant letters. The passion and the pathos of this correspondence brings us as close as we can come to the mind of a woman in the court of Louis XIV.

 

 

 

A Kingdom of Images: French Print in the Age of Louis XIV, 1660-1715 by Peter Furhing ~ This publication is issued on the occasion of the exhibition A Kingdom of Images: French prints in the age of Louis XIV, 1660-1715, on view at the Getty Research Institute at the Getty Center, Los Angeles, from 16 June to 6 September, 2015.

 

 

A Fanfare for the Sun King. Unfolding Fans for Louis XIV by Pamela Cowen ~ Fans have, for too long, been the “Cinderellas” of the decorative arts. Now, thanks to organizations like the Fan Circle International and the Fan Museum, fans are emerging as important social and historical records, and none more so than those painted in the reign of Louis XIV. The King himself saw them as a means of promoting his “gloire” and on occasion wrote critical comments in his own hand on their content.

 

 

The Wars of Louis XIV 1667-1714 by John A. Lynn ~ Warfare dominated the long reign of Louis XIV. From 1672, France was continuously at war for over 40 years across Europe, from Sicily to Ireland, fielding the largest armies seen in the West since the fall of imperial Rome. John A. Lynn (the leading authority on the subject today) examines these wars together, systematically. He sets them – and their consequences – in their full diplomatic, military, administrative, and institutional contexts. He explains why they took place when and where they did; he looks for a coherent strategic policy behind them: he explores the operational logistics of their campaigns; and he considers what they achieved, and what they cost.

 

France under Louis XIV and the Regency by James Breck Perkins ~ The reign of Louis XIV extended over seventy years, and in so long a period it largely modified the institutions and the power of France. Her European position was far more commanding at the close of the seventeenth century than at its beginning. Alike in political power, in the influence exercised by her society, in the attention attracted by her literature, France was confessedly the leading state of Europe.

 

 

Louis XIII: The Just by A. Lloyd Moote ~ A. Lloyd Moote provides the first authoritative account of one of the most enigmatic figures of seventeenth-century Europe. Contrary of popular portrayals of the monarch as a hapless kind, Moote argues that Louis XIII was a ruler who powerfully shaped his people’s destiny.

 

 

 

City on the Seine: Paris in the Time of Richelieu and Louis XIV, 1614-1715 by Andrew Trout ~ Andrew Trout’s new book on Paris during the period preceding the end Louis XIV’s reign is a fascinating social history of the city anchored by the lives of two of its most famous citizens: Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIV. Beginning with the emergence of Richelieu as a political force and concluding with the end of Louis XIV’s reign, Trout describes the city as it looked during the seventeenth century and answers a myriad of interesting questions: Did the houses have numbers? Were residential buildings flush with the street? What was anyone likely to see along the River Seine? By answering such questions, Trout constructs a social history of the city that is unequalled. Trout’s book is illustrated with maps and engravings that bring the city to life.

 

 

German language books

Ludwig XIV von Bernd-Rüdiger Schwesig ~ Ludwig XIV. war als Mensch und Monarch ein komplexer, widersprüchlicher Charakter. Das wundert kaum, wenn man bedenkt, daß er mit seinen 77 Lebensjahren dreimal älter wurde als der Durchschnitt seiner Zeitgenossen. Was die Dauer seiner nominellen Herrschaft angeht – 72 Jahre -, so konnten erst Königin Victoria und Kaiser Franz Joseph I. wieder ähnlich lange Regierungszeiten aufweisen. Daß eine derartige Lebens- und Herrschaftsspanne Entwicklungen, Veränderungen, Widersprüche und Brüche in sich schließen muß, ist – seltsam genug – den Historikern lange entgangen.

 

Versailles. Die Sonnenseite Frankreichs von Uwe Schultz ~ Uwe Schultz erzählt die Geschichte von Versailles, eines einzigartigen Ensembles von Gebäuden und Gärten, aber auch die Geschichte von Herrschern, höfischen Intrigen und Politik, von einer im Fest gefesselten Aristokratie, von Kunst und Kurtisanen. Der Autor führt durch die Prunkgemächer und Parks, vorbei an Wasserspielen und Grotten und beschreibt, wie sehr diese Anlagen, geboren aus dem Geist machtvoller Repräsentation, mit Glanz und Elend der Mächtigen Frankreichs für Jahrhunderte aufs engste verwoben waren.

 

Versailles: Glanz und Elend am Hof des Sonnenkönigs von Michael Erbe ~ Versailles – kaum eine Residenz erweckt solche Assoziationen wie der Name dieses Schlosses! Eine Aura der Macht umgibt das königliche Gebäude noch heute und die Pracht der Anlage zieht jährlich Tausende Besucher in ihren Bann.
Doch wie sah das Leben im wohl berühmtesten Königsschloss der Neuzeit tatsächlich aus? Dieser Band beschreibt nicht nur den Alltag und das tägliche Zeremoniell des Königs und seines Hofs, sondern wirft auch einen Blick hinter die glanzvollen Kulissen: auf das geschäftige Treiben von Küchenpersonal, Dienern, Ärzten und vielen anderen Hofangestellten, die für eine funktionierende Logistik Sorge trugen. Und auch von ungebetenen Gästen, von dreisten Dieben im Schloss von Versailles erzählt Michael Erbe. Angefangen bei der problematischen Baugeschichte führt er damit zugleich durch die wechselhafte Geschichte – bis hin zum heutigen musealen Alltag im Schloss von Versailles.

 

Ludwig XIV und seine Zeit von Claudio Menegazzi ~ Die Jahre der Erziehung und Erwartung – Grandeur und Gloire – Der absolute Herrscher.

 

 

 

 

Hinter den Fassaden von Versailles: Mätressen, Flöhe und Intrigen am Hof des Sonnenkönigs von William Ritchey Newton ~ Die Residenz der französischen Könige steht für Glanz, Luxus und absolute Macht. Seit Jahrhunderten lassen sich die Menschen von Versailles faszinieren, schien das Leben hier doch frei von allen Mühen des Alltags zu sein. Doch weit gefehlt: Was sich am Hof jenseits der rauschenden Bälle abspielte und was es bedeutete, den Hofstaat mit allem Lebensnotwendigen zu versorgen, enthüllt der Versailles-Experte William Ritchey Newton.

 

 

Madame sein ist ein ellendes Handwerck. Liselotte von der Pfalz – eine deutsche Prinzessin am Hof des Sonnenkönigs von Dirk van der Cruysse ~ 1671 heiratet Liselotte von der Pfalz Herzog Philipp von Orléans, den homosexuellen Bruder von König Ludwig XIV. Ihre Eindrücke am französischen Hof hielt sie in zahlreichen Briefen fest. Diese kritische, urwüchsige und oft auch derbe Korrespondenz ist die Grundlage dieses ebenso amüsanten wie aufschlussreichen Buches.

 

 

Galantes Versailles: Die Mätressen am Hofe der Bourbonen von Sylvia Jurewitz-Freischmidt ~ Die Geschichte der französischen Könige Ludwig XIV. und Ludwig XV. ist zugleich auch die Geschichte ihrer Mätressen. Die Historikerin Sylvia Jurewitz-Freischmidt schildert das Leben der königlichen Geliebten zwischen höfischen Intrigen und amouröser Leidenschaft, steifem Zeremoniell und rauschenden Festen – und nicht zuletzt das spannungsreiche Verhältnis der Mätressen zu den anderen Frauen am Hofe. Zugleich verschafft sie uns erhellende Einblicke in das öffentliche und private Leben der glanzvollen Herrscher in der Zeit des französischen Absolutismus.