In 1751, Voltaire publically proposed the expression “The Century of Louis XIV”, which since has been used to qualify what was no doubt the most brilliant period in the history of France, from 1643 to 1715. Its reputation was not without its dark side, of course, and the assessment presented here does not hide the human miseries of the day alongside the splendours of his reign. Moreover, far from being immobile, the Grand Siècle was a period of social maturation and transformation, in all its aspects. This work deals as much with the royal personage, the method of government, the kingdom’s economy and religion as with war, the King’s entourage, foreign policy and popular uprisings, not to mention the arts and letters.
To draw up this panorama for the tercentennial of the Sun King’s death, Jean-Christian Petitfils, whose Louis XIV, published in 1995 and awarded the Académie Française’s Grand Prix de la Biographie (for history) is an authoritative work, joined forces with some twenty historians who stand out by their knowledge of this period: Jean Barbey, Lucien Bély, Yves-Marie Bercé, of the Institut, Emmanuel Bury, Jean-Philippe Cénat, Jean-Marie Constant, Joël Cornette, Bernard Cottret, Mathieu Da Vinha, Sylvio De Franceschi, Jean-Paul Desprat, Françoise Hildesheimer, Jean-Claude Le Guillou, Alexandre Maral, Emmanuel Pénicaut, Jean-Pierre Poussou, Thierry Sarmant and Jean-François Solnon.
Author: Jean-Christian Petitfils
Format: 14.5 x 22 cm
Publication date: 2015