Louis the Well-beloved : (French Revolution) Paperback
by Jean Plaidy
Part of the French Revolution series
France eagerly awaits the day the young King, Louis XV, comes of age and breaks free from the rule of his ministers.
The country hopes Louis will bring back glory and prosperity to France.
However, he is too preoccupied with the thrills of hunting and gambling to notice the power struggle going on in his own court.
Soon, the King is introduced to the pleasures of mistresses and a succession of lovers follows.
From the gentle persuasions of Madame de Mailley to her overtly ambitious sister, Madame Vintimille, France stands by and watches a King ruled by his women...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 368 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 04/10/2007
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780099493365
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Review by PhilSyphe
I read this because I'm interested in France's Bourbon kings and Madame de Pompadour. I 'm also a fan of the author.I think that Jean Plaidy did a good job bringing the early to mid-eighteenth-century France to life. I like her portrayal of Louis XV, whom we get to see grow from a five-year-old up to about thirty. As a child he comes across as a spoiled brat with no interest in the French people who cheer and adore him. Yet as he becomes a man, little of his character alters.I found myself liking Louis whilst having little respect for his carefree ways. That said, I did admire him for joining his soldiers in various battles, as he could easily have avoided doing so.It's interesting to observe how Louis's coldness towards his subjects who love him, and the amount of money he taxes them to pay for fruitless wars, or to indulge his passion for architecture, all leads to his loss of popularity. More to the point, his carefree attitude points the way to the French Revolution a few decades later.On a lighter note, it's also interesting to see how his mistresses come and go, along with his changing relationship with his queen. His first intended queen, back when he was a boy, was the character for whom I felt the most sympathy for in the entire book. I won't say more about the little Spanish princess in case I leak any spoilers.I've previously read a biography of Madame de Pompadour, discovering that I liked her very much, and I'm impressed with the author's depiction of the beautiful, gifted lady.Adelaide, one of Louis's daughters, is one of the most interesting characters. She's clever yet also slightly mad. Overall this is a good read though I would've enjoyed it more had it been a little more spicy or confrontational at times.