Aulica Coll. No 5 - Louis XIV : l’image et le mythe

Louis XIV : l’image & le mythe (publication following the international symposium held on 21, 22 and 23 January 2010 in Versailles), directed by Mathieu da Vinha, Alexandre Maral and Nicolas Milovanovic, joint publication Centre de recherche du château de Versailles / Presses universitaires de Rennes (“Histoire” collection, “Aulica. L’Univers de la cour” series), June 2014, 16,5 x 24 cm, 387 pages, 26 black & white illustrations, 16 colour plates, index, €22 (ISBN: 978-2-7535-3369-1).


What more can be said or written about Louis XIV and his reign? This great figure, like the century in which he lived, has fascinated researchers in all disciplines, and has been the subject of many studies. However, there are aspects of the sovereign’s character that remain unclear. This book sets out to analyse the image of the Great King - the image he projected to his contemporaries and to foreigners, and the image he was able to create of himself - concentrating more specifically on the dialectic of the public figure and the private man. The primary aim is to go beyond the public image (sometimes “fabricated”, in the words of Peter Burke) projected by Louis XIV as King of France in order to gain a better understanding of the man. A great statesman and a forceful character, the king used every means of propaganda available to create a positive image, which at times bordered on myth. In five chapters, the author addresses in turn the role of the king and the fabrication of a royal image, Louis XIV’s taste, his image conveyed through chronicles and memoirs, his counter image, and finally how his image has been reconstructed since the 19th century through the arts, literature and cinema.

To order the book

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Book reviews

Read Sylvène Édouard’s review published in the Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine 1/2015 (n°62-1) and published online on (in French).

Read Hélène Duccini’s review published in the Le Temps des médias, 2015/2 (no.25) and published online on (in French):

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