By Karleen Koen
Louis XIV is likely 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 earlier than 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 little 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 desires him. He needs to face what he's keen to sacrifice for love.But there are different difficulties lurking outdoors the chateau of Fontainebleau: a boy in an iron masks has been obvious 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 an exceptional best friend or develop into a perilous foe . . .Meticulously researched and vividly delivered to existence through the beautiful prose of Karleen Koen, prior to Versailles dares to discover the forces that formed an iconic king and decided the destiny of an empire.
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Extra info for Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV
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. He decided to warn her again. “The musketeer commanded silence, and his master is master of us all, the great cardinal,” he repeated. Reviled, feared, obeyed, Cardinal Mazarin was the most powerful man in the kingdom of France, first minister to the young king and lover, it was said, to the queen mother.
He was proud of his wife, bragging about her, pleased at the impact she was making at court. “Madame” was the official title of Philippe’s new wife; they weren’t even married two full months. It had been a very quiet affair because of the cardinal’s death, little more than family signing the required documents and a priest saying the proper prayers. With that, she had become the second lady at court after Louis’s queen, except the truth was the royal brothers’ mother was still a commanding figure, so perhaps Madame was really third.
THE HALF-WILD, lanky boy in his iron mask was all she could think about on the ride back to the château where she was visiting. She couldn’t wait to find her cousin, Choisy, to tell him what she’d seen. Leaving the groom in the château’s stable, she walked through ornate halls and antechambers looking for her cousin, but he was not to be found. His mother was busy with guests in the grand salon. “Women’s virtue is man’s greatest invention,” she heard Madame de Choisy say to a burst of laughter.