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Louis XVIII [Hardcover]

Philip Mansel
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 1981
Louis XVIII, is often considered a nonentity whose weaknesses, apathy, greed, insensitivity, were flagrant, and whose virtues, prudence, imperturbability, moderation, were unspectacular. Mansel sets out to prove he deserves better. The author considers the King's exile and move from Germany to Italy, from Italy to Russia and finally England, as well as examining Louis XVIII's ten year reign on the throne of France.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Frederick Muller Ltd (Jan 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0856340936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0856340932
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,581,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Well written and admirably researched ... has style, wit and a sense of proportion (Philip Ziegler, The Times)

A wonderful biography and history, unique not only in scholarship, research, judgement, but in feeling, understanding, humanity (George D Painter)

Philip Mansel tells the story with skill and erudition, carefully justifying all his anecdotes and revealing an impressive documentation ... a large and learned biography (Spectator)

'As Philip Mansel shows in this ground-breaking and sympathetic biography, the last Louis deserves better of posterity' (BBC History) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The definitive biography of Louis XVIII's turbulent public and private life --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous! 2 Aug 2009
Philip Mansel's Louis XVIII is a little known book that is bound to fascinate and enrapture all that pick it up. Philip Mansel succeeds in creating a thorough portrait of Louis XVIII of France, highlighting his good characteristics, and bad ones. Mansel does not venerate Louis XVIII as a quasi-god in the book (as many biographers do to their subjects).

The publication is a dramatic tale of a "deprived prince", who is restored to his rightful place atop the throne of France after over 30 years of exile in countries as diverse as Germany, Russia and Italy. Louis XVIII was the last French monarch to die while still ruling.

There are some irritating elements to the book. Mansel insists on quoting contemporaries in their native French, and then provides an English translation English. Other than that the book is mesmerising, well worth it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant 6 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes historical biographies. It gives a fascinating and insightful glimpse into one of history's more forgotten and misunderstood figures.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enigmatic King for Turbulent Times 7 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
If the French Revolution is a gulf yawning between the Ancien Regime and the truly modern world, then few kings could have embodied that disjunction better than Louis XVIII. Born in 1755, he lived to see his brother and sister-in-law, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, guillotined by extreme revolutionaries; the Corsican general Napoleon Bonaparte seize the throne and declare himself emperor; and his country welcome him back after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. Bitter memories of his brother's ignominious death encouraged him to steer a course between reactionaries and revolutionaries. Although Louis has often been dismissed as a non-entity, Mansel's eminently readable biography presents a more balanced portrait of this enigmatic survivor.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Filling in the Blanks 23 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Mansel's biography does an excellent job filling in some blanks in French History; the times from Louis XIV through Napoleon I are very well documented, but so little has been written about the restoration monarchs. This biography is thoughtful and detailed, chronicling a prince who spent the better part of his life waiting in the wings to attain his throne. Mansel does a superb job working with Louis' known words (spoken and written) to reveal the character behind this somewhat elusive figure. A major find!
My only complaint against the book (which brought it from 5 stars to 4) is the author's very annoying insistence on quoting innumerable sources in French and then translating them in full into English. For those who read French, the English translation slows reading (one can't help but compare one's own translation to that of the author); for those that don't, the French is superfluous. This bilingual quotation method is occasionally useful when a critical shade of meaning must be brought across; to do it on virtually every page is just a nuisance.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book! 28 Jan 2002
By L. Henderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The brilliance of Philip Mansel shines in Louis XVIII. For some reason history regards his reign as just a footnote, in reality Louis XVIII shines as a much more intelligent and reasonable monarch for his time. I deliberately took my time reading this book, I wanted to savor all the information Mr. Mansel presented so well! A fabulous look into France after the tumult of the revolution and Bonaparte!
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