The Absolute King
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The grandeur and weaknesses of an absolute king
After defeating his opponents at home and abroad, Louis XIV took on the job of ruling the country alone after the death of Mazarin in 1661. From then on, as Voltaire wrote, “there was only a master and subjects in France”. The kingdom had never been so dependent on the wishes, tastes and beliefs of the sovereign. But this face-off between Louis XIV and 20 million French people was not simply a relationship of domination; the social and political drama aroused an abundance of emotions and interests.
Hervé Drévillon invites us to explore in depth the rich history of a kingdom confronted with the grandeur and weaknesses of an absolute king. Part of the work reproduces chapters published in Les Rois absolus, 1629-1715, “History of France” collection, Belin, 2011.