By Karleen Koen
Louis XIV is among the best-known monarchs ever to grace the French throne. yet what was once he like as a tender man—the guy earlier than Versailles? After the demise of his best minister, Cardinal Mazarin, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps into governing France. He’s nonetheless a tender guy, yet one that, as king, willfully takes every 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 wishes 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 noticeable within the woods, and the king’s finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, has confirmed to be extra strong than Louis ever thought—a guy who can make an excellent best friend or turn into a perilous foe . . .Meticulously researched and vividly dropped at existence through the beautiful prose of Karleen Koen, ahead of Versailles dares to discover the forces that formed an iconic king and decided the destiny of an empire.
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Extra resources for Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV
The beauty always made him want to stutter. He didn’t have a true stutter, just a slight stalling of words that he had conquered during childhood through sheer willpower. It unnerved him when he felt it in his throat, swelling his tongue. Those around him would laugh, as they’d done when he was a child, and the laughter hadn’t been kind. A king couldn’t afford to be laughed at. It had been part of his father’s downfall, his nervous, limping, coughing father, who twitched when he was upset and stammered spit when he was angry and trusted no one and loved only brightly, briefly, and very dangerously.
Madame de Choisy walked in and didn’t bat an eye at the sight of her son standing a little too close to Louise, still in his nightgown with her own embroidered and heavily laced dressing robe atop it, as well as her best earrings in his ears. “Cardinal Mazarin is dead,” she announced. “The Duchess d’Orléans has sent a letter by special messenger. We return to Paris tomorrow. You, my precious, are riding out this afternoon so that you can present our regards to the viscount tonight. ” She rolled her eyes at Louise, as if everyone knew what a fool the head of the family was.
He bowed to Louis and took a rapier from the dueling master. ” Louis spoke softly. He was tired, but he knew this man well. An impetuous, impatient duelist who would soon become bored with Louis’s steadiness and make a flamboyant gesture that would give Louis the opening he needed. And he needed only one. They were dueling in what was called the fountain courtyard, bordered on three sides by buildings and on the fourth by a large pond. The palace of Fontainebleau had become a favorite royal residence of French kings in the 1500s, in the time of François I, Louis’s ancestor.