By Karleen Koen
Louis XIV is without doubt one of the best-known monarchs ever to grace the French throne. yet what used to be he like as a tender man—the guy prior to Versailles? After the loss of life of his leading minister, Cardinal Mazarin, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps into governing France. He’s nonetheless a tender guy, yet person who, as king, willfully takes every thing he can get—including his brother’s spouse. because the love affair among Louis and Princess Henriette burns, it units the dominion at the highway towards unmistakable scandal and clash with the Vatican. each girl wishes him. He needs to face what he's prepared to sacrifice for love.But there are different difficulties lurking outdoors the chateau of Fontainebleau: a boy in an iron masks has been noticeable within the woods, and the king’s finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, has confirmed to be extra robust than Louis ever thought—a guy who can make a superb best friend or turn into a deadly foe . . .Meticulously researched and vividly delivered to existence via the beautiful prose of Karleen Koen, earlier than Versailles dares to discover the forces that formed an iconic king and decided the destiny of an empire.
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Additional resources for Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV
He could still see the musketeer’s cold eyes. His own mouth was sealed. He was no fool. “Obscene,” said Louise, “that thing on his head, as if he were a monster instead of a man. Not even a man. A boy. ” In her eyes were tears of distress and pity. The groom held his hands so she could hoist herself into the saddle. Her legs were slim and colored blue by the stockings she wore. The sight of them—she had to ride astride now, as men did, rather than on a sidesaddle—softened him for a moment, as did the tears and her fresh prettiness.
There had been an escapade in Paris, something that had enraged his older brother, now head of the family, and his mother, who cosseted Choisy, had whisked him out of sight and reprimand and had brought Louise along to keep him company. Besides, she’d said, I need to train you for court, my dear. “You were gone a long time,” he said, pouting at her. He was as pretty as she was. They’d compared faces in the mirror and agreed on that. ” And then the story spilled from her pell-mell, the wild gallop, the jump over the tree, the boy in the mask, its terrible simplicity hiding his face, his heartrending howls, the fall, her opening her eyes to see a musketeer, his strange command.
But it had been decorated by the finest Italian and then French artists of the Renaissance, who had made it everywhere pleasing and often splendid. One of its allures was that it sat in the forest. French kings and queens were passionate hunters—Louis was no exception—and forest encircled the palace and could be seen from turrets or second-floor balconies. There was a bit of a village nestled to one side, there to serve the palace and house courtiers, but one good gallop past clearings and outcroppings of rocks and boulders, and a man pulled the reins short to breathe in nature’s leafy, verdant, abundant aroma, while his eyes rested on stands of trees as ancient as the kingdom itself.
Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV by Karleen Koen