Louis XIV, King of France and Navarre, dominated his age and expanded France’s frontiers around the world. Ruling for decades, Louis established himself as one of the great patrons of European history, arts and culture. As a leader, Louis was obsessed by the inner workings and decisions of government, traversing his kingdom in order to see it in action.
In this exciting talk, Philip Mansel explores the mind and life of Louis XIV and asks many of the questions that have flummoxed historians forever fascinated by ‘the Sun King’. The life of Louis XIV was both complex and rich. His legacy has shaped modern Europe and, even 300 years after his death, he still epitomises the idea of le grand monaque.
About the speaker
Philip Mansel is one of Britain’s leading historians of France and the Middle East. His previous books include Louis XVIII (1981), The Eagle in Splendour: Napoleon and His Court (1987), The Court of France: 1789-1830 (1988), Paris Between Empires, 1814-1852 (2001) and Dressed to Rule: Royal and Court Costume from Louis XIV to Elizabeth II (2005).
He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Society of Literature, the Institute of Historical Research and the Royal Asiatic Society, and in 1995 was a co-founder of the Society for Court Studies, whose journal, The Court Historian, he edited for 20 years.
He is President of the Conseil Scientifique at the Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles and a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2012, he received the London Library Life in Literature Award.