Nobody understood the nuances of aristocratic society better than the Mitford sisters. No aristocratic society ever had more nuances than Louis XIV's.
That background and Nancy Mitford's witty prose make her study of Louis and her court so readable that her exhaustive research and genuine scholarship may be overshadowed.
To the unitiated, Louis is a gilt and ormalu figure rather than one of the most interesting personalities in European history. Anyone new to the Louis fascination will be infected, but Mitford's biography is also deep enough for readers who know much more.
Most biographers of Louis understand how interesting, funny, and complex his personality and long life were. Mitford explains this phenonomen well, and illustrates his personality by examining Louis's family, court, and surroundings.
Mitford lived near Versailles for many years and draws from hundreds of original French documents.