Love and Louis XIV

Red divider
Mistresses and wives, mothers and daughters – LOVE AND LOUIS XIV 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 Vallière, Athénaïs 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'Orléans in succession, Henriette-Anne and Liselotte, his wayward illegitimate daughters, and lastly Adelaide, the beloved child-wife of his grandson.

Critical Acclaim

Red divider
‘Fraser’s book is lively, enjoyable and . . . judicious’
Susan Brigden, Observer

‘Henry VIII’s matrimonial history is full of high farce, and Antonia Fraser is adept at exploiting her subject’s comic possibilities. Yet for all the black humour, we are never allowed to forget that the story takes place against a backdrop of judicial murder, torture and religious persecution’
Anne Somerset, Literary Review

‘In the light of recent events, it is hard to read this enthralling book of royal history without drawing some parallels between the uninhibited Tudors and present-day Windsors’
Maureen Owen, Daily Mail

'bringing vividly to life the fairytale dazzle of the most splendid court in Western history..... lively and wholly absorbing.'
Matthew Dennison,The Times

'Antonia Fraser long ago mastered the art of writing meticulous history so that it reads like an engrossing novel, and her latest offering is no exception.'
Virginia Rounding,The Sunday Times

'an impressively researched and crafted book’
Munro Price,The Sunday Telegraph

'no one writes about historical women as well as she does.'
Jennifer Selway,Daily Express

'a wonderfully rounded portrait of the philandering king.... Fraser has evoked a world by exercising the gifts that make her one of the most brilliant biographers of our time: her scholarship and her great humanity. Precise details bring the past to life.'
Ruth Scurr,The Daily Telegraph

'All the scandal and brilliance and bling of Louis and his ladies is shown in context - social, dynastic, political, religious - but depicted so deftly and vividly that you're there... This is an intriguing insight into the shifting roles of aristocratic women in 17th-century France.'
Ian Ramsey,Tatler

'entralling new biography...... her prose veers between the authoritative and the racey and makes excellent use of contemporary sources, creating the most enjoyable domestic biography of Louis since Nancy Mitford's The Sun King, 40 years ago.'
Michael Arditti,The Daily Mail

'As she demonstrated in previous biographies of Charles II and Marie Antoniette, for esoteric detail, for marrying moments of grace and wit, no other historian is Fraser's equal.'
Tome Dewe Matthews, The Independent On Sunday

'Written with a rare combination of sympathy, erudition and high literary accomplishment, this book is a delight. It leaves no doubt as to why Antonia Fraser who, in another age, might well have been a star of Louis's court, is, instead, the reigning doyenne of British historians.'
John Adamson,The Mail On Sunday

'Fraser's narrative is balanced, wise and entertaining. This is clearly the book she was born to write.'
Jonathan Keates,Literary Review

'Painstakingly researched and dazzling in its details, this is a definitive portrait of a king, his women and their extraordinary times.'
Sainsburys Magazine

'Her delightful book supports the contemporary observation that 'court life provides the funniest scenes imaginable', but the scintillating narrative is underpinned by a serious theme, arising from the conflict between the king's sex drive and his search for salvation.'
Anne Somerset,The New Statesman

'this lively and compelling book..... The result is a balanced, insightful and plausible exploration of the Sun King and his women.'
Nigel Aston, The Tablet

'with warmth, humour and not a little gossipy relish, she draws us intimately into the psyche and mores of many ladies who moved, motivated and occasionially mastered the alpha male.'
Lucy Kilfoyle, The Tribune

'the result is a balance, insightful and plausible exploration of the Sun King and his women.'
Nigel Aston, The Tablet

'In LOVE AND LOUIS XIV, Antonia Fraser's expertise on women in history shines through, bringing a sympathetic warmth to her depiction of the Sun King's many love affairs, his vast sexual appetite and the sheer variety of female personalities in his intimate circle.'
Siofra Pierse,Irish Times