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Antonia Fraser Peers into the Heart of Louis XIV

Nov 11, 2006 (Weekend Edition Saturday)

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Louis the XIV ruled France for 72 years. He invaded the Spanish Netherlands, battled the Hapsburgs, extended the French dominion to eastern Canada, imposed national authority, built the French navy and engineered the extraordinary gardens at Versailles.

So how did the roi soleil, or Sun King, have time for all of this when he was in the bedroom so much?

Lady Antonia Fraser writes tantalizingly around this question in her latest book, Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King. Fraser explores the king's relationships with his mother, lovers and other women in the court. Fraser's last book, Marie Antoinette: The Journey, was the basis of Sofia Coppola's recent film on the French queen.

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