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The Life of Louis XIV's Mistress, the Real Queen of France

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


In her superb new biography, Hilton chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, known as "the real Queen of France," who reigned as official mistress to Louis XIV during the most glorious period of "the splendid century."

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 14, 2002 – Beautiful, haughty, well bred and, by the author's account, "a superlative lover," Ath na s de Montespan was a shoo-in for the role of official mistress to King Louis XIV. Despite being married, she spent 12 years in a passionate relationship with the Sun King, commanding his attention in a way that his own wife couldn't: she teased him, told him jokes, even scolded him and threw tantrums, and he rewarded her with not only his adoration, but jewels bigger than those he gave his wife. In independent scholar Hilton's well-researched but unevenly paced account of Montespan's "reign," the queen, Marie-Th r se of Spain, is a pitiful and unattractive blight on the royal landscape, unable to compete with Montespan's manifold attractions. It may be true, but Hilton's scathing descriptions of the other women who crossed Louis's path one was "so extremely plain" that a platonic relationship "was the best she could hope for," while Marie-Th r se with her "lumpy Hapsburg nose" was "frankly far too unattractive" for sex with her "to be anything more than an obligation for the king" raises questions about her evenhandedness. Distracting, too, is her tendency to wander off the topic, though some of the tangents are memorable among them, that red-headed wet nurses were unpopular in 17th-century France because redheads were thought to be "a product of sex during menstruation." The life of a royal mistress usually offers an intriguing perspective on her lover's reign, and Montespan is no exception, but Hilton's debut biography would have had more impact if she had been more focused in choosing her material. 8 pages of b&w photos.
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Oct 15, 2007
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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