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The Man Who Outshone The Sun King: Ambition, Triumph and Treachery in the Reign of Louis XIV Paperback – 5 Mar 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; First paperback edition edition (5 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009946828X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099468288
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 628,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A gripping account of one of the most spectacular - and tragic - careers in French history" (Munro Price)

"This is the story of the seventeenth century's most audacious aesthete brought low by its most elegant tyrant - and it is as fresh, dramatic and poignant today as it was when it first engrossed Europe nearly four hundred years ago. Charles Drazin's refined, meticulous approach is perfectly suited to his protagonist. Stylish and compelling" (Lisa Hilton)

"Charles Drazin not only tells a great story; he has also produced a vivid and compelling account of the French court in all its treacherous complexity. A marvellous book" (Adrian Tinniswood)

Book Description

Amidst the chaos and anarchy of civil war-wracked France, one man's spectacular rise and devastating fall was lost to history - until now.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Baerends on 20 April 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is about Louis Fouquet, a bureaucrat & 'homo universalis' who started his career in the time of Louis XIII and rose to great heights during Louis XIV's time, only to fall out of grace & spend the rest of his life in an awful jail in Pinerolo. What I found very interesting about this book is that it taught me something about the confusing 'Fronde' period that I knew next to nothing about.
It also nicely illustrates how interwoven private finances of ministers and senior civil servants were with state finances. That's why I found it difficult to make a judgement as to whether Louis XIV was right to jail Fouquet (who was undoubtedly extremely corrupt by modern standards) or whether it was just childish jealousy on the part of the King that was Fouquet's undoing. Be that as it may, all in all this is an informative and interesting book.
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Foucquet, the finance minister of Louis XIV was a fascinating man who left us Vaux le Vicomte as a memorial. This is a well written and measured biography of a most unusual man. Drazin makes a very good job of explaining the complexities of French political life in the 17th century, but the book reads like a thriller. See my review on Goodreads for more detail.
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This is a fantastic book about a man most people probably have never heard about. But although being a true story it is almost like a fairy tale. The amazing rise and fall of a courtier of Louis XIV, and the life and intrigues of the Court are vividly described almost as in a historical novel. I will read this book again soon!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Philippa S. Beale on 17 April 2012
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This book tickles the fancy of those who are interested in the history of the Bourbon kings of France and provides a well balanced view of Fouquet, who perhaps was more sinned against than sinning. However it does provide that example of what happens to those of us who get too powerful and forget who we really are no matter what age we live in.
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By Mrs Veronica H Nolan on 16 Dec. 2014
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What a great book, if you love history then this is a fascinating read.
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