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Louis XIII, the Just Paperback – 1 Jul 1991

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 401 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (1 July 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520075463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520075467
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 864,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"[Moote] provides an unabashedly revisionist picture of Louis XIII and his reign."--"Sixteenth Century Journal


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First Sentence
Shortly after 10:00 P.M. on 27 September 1601, in the oval chamber of the royal palace at Fontainebleau, the king and queen of France celebrated the birth of their first child. Read the first page
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By A Customer on 31 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
At last we have in English a worthy biography of a great, but too often overlooked, king. Lloyd Moote's study of Louis XIII examines with sympathy and keen insight the life of an intelligent and dedicated ruler, who overcame emotional, familial and political hurdles to decisively shape the future of France. The book takes Louis's life chronologically, giving a clear outline of events, and also studies themes such as culture, the warfare state which developed later in his reign, and the king's personal life. Naturally the huge contribution made by Cardinal Richelieu is not overlooked, and a warmer relationship between them emerges than one might expect from reading earlier works. This is a particularly important work in the continuing reassessment of Louis XIII's personality and political role, and is in refreshing contrast to the caricatures prompted by Tallemant and Dumas. It is certainly not a whitewash: Louis's failings are plainly in evidence, but so are his many strengths and attractive qualities. My only regret is that the book is not much longer! I strongly recommend this book to all readers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Given the vast amount of material about the reign of Louis XIV, it is surprising just how little one finds about his father's time. So, kudos for Lloyd Moote for writing this book. I did feel that this biography could have been slightly more exciting, had the writer focused less on proving his thesis ('Louis XIII was not just doing what Richelieu told him, he was very much his own man') and more on captivating storytelling. After all, here we have someone who as a 15 year old had his mother's favorite murdered, dragged the country to war with the mighty habsburgs and maintained extramarital relationships with both men and women while being highly religious - sufficient material for an absolute pageturner which this biography was not, at least in my humble opinion. Then again, if one has a serious interest in Louis XIII and his times then this book is highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa01109f0) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fe306c0) out of 5 stars Engrossing subject, superbly depicted! 16 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the best historical biography I have ever read.
That said, my one complaint is the failure to include genealogy charts for the French and Spanish royal houses. Readers need these charts.
On the other hand, there are several excellent illustrations, and the characters that they represent are so skillfully drawn in words that they assume truly human dimensions, a rarity in historical biography!
The characters in this history include the king's widowed mother (and bitter political foe); his wife Anne, childless for over twenty years before Louis XIV was born (she often befriended outrageous schemers and troublemakers); Cardinal Richelieu, Louis's brilliant partner (he attracted deadly hostility from many directions); and Gaston, Louis's brother, who threatened to overthrow the king. Louis's illegitimate half-brothers and sisters were reared at court and created problems as well.
The king's "favourites," both male and female, are a fascinating group in their own right. They could fill a book of their own. I will use the extensive bibliography to learn more about particular characters and events in the life of Louis XIII.
The main character was a king at the age of eight, following his father's assassination. Violence and insurrection threatened the king through much of his life. The story of his public triumph against political opposition, often at immense personal cost, is a gripping one. Military, political, and diplomatic events are described extremely well, while the court and its characters can almost be seen and felt. Professor Moote tells the life story of a complex and very human individual who occupied an extraordinary position. It is a moving story.
I hope that Professor Moote will write more about the history of France. Please!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa00b093c) out of 5 stars Excellent biography of an overshadowed king 12 Feb. 2004
By lordhoot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This proves to be an excellent biography on Louis XIII who usually don't get too much attention by historians since he was often totally overshadowed by Cardinal Richelieu or by his heir, Louis XIV. But this well written and easy to read biography, the author showed the Louis XIII was an equal if not a controlling element of a partnership that grew between him and Cardinal Richelieu. Through both men, France grew and became the next European super power. People of France suffered for that growth and men like Richelieu were often damned by later history as villians and monsters (Three Musketeers book for example). What was so interesting about this biography was the author make it so clear how politically and personally acute Louis XIII was in the first place. His support of Richelieu, during good times and bad, revealed a highly focus and mature mind. While his personality wasn't anything to bragged about, his quirks and eccentic behavior can be overlooked as long as he had his eye on the ball and kept on going. A book written with great insight, understanding and nicely researched, I am sure it will be a bit before this book will be surpassed.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fe332ac) out of 5 stars The finest biography of a great king 7 Sept. 2005
By bon francais - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This 1989 biography, the first to appear in English, is the finest work on Louis XIII which I have read in twenty years' study. It studies the king's life in detail, examining the innate character, principles and environment which shaped him, and the ways in which he in turn shaped the political and social future of France. Moote demonstrates clearly that, far from being the caricature created by Tallemant and Dumas, Louis was an intelligent and effective king who developed his own ruling style and chose the best of servants - the great Richelieu, of course - to support him in his task. The work follows his life chronologically, departing from this in the final section to study thematically his legacy, looking at the warfare state, culture and his intimate life (an achingly sad part of the book for anyone who cares about him).

This is an insightful and sympathetic study, clearly written and a very easy read. My only regret is that it is not several hundred pages longer. It has an interesting selection of illustrations - pamphlets and medallions as well as the standard de Champaigne portrait of Louis from the Prado (which, incidentally, was done many years after his death). I highly - no, completely - recommend this book to anyone.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc88888) out of 5 stars Engrossing subject, superbly depicted! 16 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the best historical biography I have ever read.
That said, my one complaint is the failure to include genealogy charts for the French and Spanish royal houses. Readers need these charts.
On the other hand, there are several excellent illustrations, and the characters that they represent are so skillfully drawn in words that they assume truly human dimensions, a rarity in historical biography!
The characters in this history include the king's widowed mother (and bitter political foe); his wife Anne, childless for over twenty years before Louis XIV was born (she often befriended outrageous schemers and troublemakers); Cardinal Richelieu, Louis's brilliant partner (he attracted deadly hostility from many directions); and Gaston, Louis's brother, who threatened to overthrow the king. Louis's illegitimate half-brothers and sisters were reared at court and created problems as well.
The king's "favourites," both male and female, are a fascinating group in their own right. They could fill a book of their own. I will use the extensive bibliography to learn more about particular characters and events in the life of Louis XIII.
The main character was a king at the age of eight, following his father's assassination. Violence and insurrection threatened the king through much of his life. The story of his public triumph against political opposition, often at immense personal cost, is a gripping one. Military, political, and diplomatic events are described extremely well, while the court and its characters can almost be seen and felt. Professor Moote tells the life story of a complex and very human individual who occupied an extraordinary position. It is a moving story.
I hope that Professor Moote will write more about the history of France. Please!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa14a7da4) out of 5 stars An exhaustively detailed portrait of a king. 13 Mar. 2003
By Fappereira - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
From his boyhood until he became king at the age of 14, we have the explanation to his moods, that reflected on his growing personality.
Within a few years after he set the crown of France on his head, slowly but with determination he started to implement his views, dispite all oposition from his mother and the old feudal nobility, who didn't appreciate a slash on it's privileges.
Louis XIII and his chief-minister Richelieu formed a terrible but effective pair aimed at constructing a solid country out of several kingdoms.
What a diference from the week Louis XIII depicted on the classic "The Three Musketeers" by Alexandre Dumas.
If it wasn't so exhaustive, particulary in the king's younger years, it would be quicly read.
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