Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Radio Adaptation of Antonia Fraser's "Love And Louis IV" on BBC Radio 4
# Hardcover: 416 pages
# Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (24 Aug 2006)
# Genre: Biography/Historical
I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to join me in listening to the radio adaptation of Antonia Fraser's most recent historical novel, titled "Love and Louis XIV" on BBC's "Book of the Week" on Radio 4. I don't usually prefer "listening" to a book over "reading" it, but these five 20-min segments, abridged and read so beautifully, are just perfect for giving me a feel for a book. If I like the sound of it, it makes it easier for me to go buy a copy for myself. If you intend listening to the program do hurry for the BBC archives the program for only 7 days after the broadcast. Enjoy!
The book centres around the Sun King and his relationship with numerous and fascinating women. Naturally dividing into five parts, it concentrates on the King's mother, Anne of Austria, to whom he was devoted; his first important mistress, Louise de la Valliere, who bore him several illegitimate children; Athenais Marquise de Montespan, who acted as unofficial Queen of Versailles until her involvement in the affair of poisons, and of course Marie Therese, his wife; and Madame de Maintenon, governess to the illegitimate royal children. The fifth part concentrates on his relations in old age with his daughters, granddaughters and the wife of his grandson. It vividly bring to life the vast edifice of Louis XIV's court - the magnificence, artistic splendour, elaborate ritual and in some cases, absurdity and misery.