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3.9 out of 5 stars8
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 27 January 2014
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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on 20 April 2012
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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on 17 April 2012
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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on 7 March 2016
After devouring Anthonia Fraser's Love & Louis, this fell short in prose, structure and inspiration.
I'm afraid I quickly abandoned this book; the writing style was not for me and did not evoke the excitement and intrigue of the protagonist or the era.

Purely a personal response to this book, and I hate giving up so soon. Others may be rewarded for persevering...
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on 14 September 2013
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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on 13 September 2014
Supreme. For anyone who is passionate about this period of history, and the genius who was Fouquet
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on 16 December 2014
What a great book, if you love history then this is a fascinating read.
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on 22 April 2015
Very good
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