In his relatively short textbook on Louis XIV (London: Macmillan, 1998, pp. xxii+202. 40 [pounds sterling]; pb. 12.50 [pounds sterling]), David J. Sturdy provides a remarkably sure-footed guide to a long and eventful reign. This is quire properly more a history of France than a biography; it comes as something of a relief to encounter a book on the Sun King in which Mile de la Valliere and Mme de Montespan have only two entries apiece in the index, while Marie Mancini, Henriette-Marie, duchesse d'Orleans, and the affaire des poisons are not mentioned at all. The general approach is an admirable example of what is often called British empiricism. Sturdy's determination to set the king in context, and to see his policies as ad hoc reactions to immediate...
From: The English Historical Review(Vol. 115, Issue 461)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Document Type: Book review
Length: 515 words
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