Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
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.