The Secret Wife of Louis XIV: Francoise d’Aubigne, Madame de Maintenon, by Veronica Buckley

The Secret Wife of Louis XIV Book

Last month I read a fascinating book about a highborn Frenchwoman, Madame de la Tour du Pin, who weathered the French Revolution, the rise and fall of Napoleon, and much else to lead a remarkable life. I just finished a book about an equally dynamic Frenchwoman, one born at the opposite end of the social spectrum, who would climb to the peak of power. I am speaking of Madame de Maintenon, the secret wife of Louis XIV, the Sun King.  From literally a beggar in the streets of Paris, she rose to become Louis’ sole mistress and secret wife for 40 years. She was his most trusted advisor, his closest confidante. As such she grew to wield considerable power in what was the most opulent and influential court in Europe. The picture of this court, of Louis and his scheming courtiers in Versailles, of life in the 17th century in all its horror and splendor, is captured vividly in this engrossing narrative. If you love French history, especially the story of its most intriguing women, you won’t be disappointed.

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2 Comments

  1. Dear Catherine,
    I know a book you would absolutely love–it seems written for you! It is Nancy Mitford’s Madame de Pompadour. She also wrote a fabulous biographies of Louis XIV and Voltaire.
    Happy reading!
    Nancy

    Comment by Nancy Goldfeder — November 3, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

  2. Nancy,

    Yes, I’ve read Nancy Mitford’s Madame de Pompadour. You’re right, it’s one of my favorites, as is her biography of Louis XIV. Haven’t read the Voltaire, though.

    Keep those recommendations coming!
    Catherine

    Comment by engelmeyer — November 5, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

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