17th century bookshelf

Want to read more about Louis XIV, the noblesse and the life and times of the 17th century? I’m currently still compiling the list, but below is a teaser of the books on my to-be-read or currently-reading shelf.

Louis XIV and Philippe d’Orleans

biographies and texts specifically on Louis and his brother

The Fabrication of Louis XIV by Peter Burke


The Sun King by Nancy Mitford


Louis XIV by Olivier Bernier


Louis XIV and Absolutism by William Biek


Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser


Brother to the Sun King by Nancy Barker Nichols

Versailles and Chateaux

For books on Versailles, architecture and buildings of the 17th century

Versailles by Tony Spawforth

The story of Versailles is one of high historical drama mixed with the high camp and glamour of the European courts, all in an iconic home for the French arts. The palace itself has been radically altered since 1789. Versailles sets out to rediscover what is now a vanished world: a great center of power and, for thousands, a home both grand and squalid.

Using the latest historical research, Spawforth offers the first full account of Versailles in English in over thirty years. He probes the conventional picture of this “perpetual house party” and gives full weight to the darker side: not just the mounting discomfort of the aging palace but also the intrigue and status anxiety of its aristocrats, as well as the changing place of Versailles in France’s national identity since 1789.


17th Century Life

fashion, eating, art and society

17th Century people

influential, notorious and notable persons