Royal mistresses in the hot competition at the court of Louis XIV--who's in, who's out, and for how long? First at bat is...

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THE SHADOW OF THE SUN

Royal mistresses in the hot competition at the court of Louis XIV--who's in, who's out, and for how long? First at bat is blond, loving, dopey Louise de Vallieres. Excessive fondness and too many pregnancies lead to her overthrow by lusty, calculating redhead Athenais de Montespan; with aphrodisiacs, perfume, makeup, abortions, and witchcraft (newborn babes being such a commonplace at Court that a few can easily be spared for human sacrifice), Athenais prolongs her reign for twelve years, bearing five children. Her old acquaintance FranÇoise Scarron, a widow-virgin (her husband having been handicapped) given to good works and intellectual pursuits, is poor, virtuous, and a beautiful brunette. Athenais hires her to nursemaid her byblows, and childless FranÇoise soon dotes on them. Ensuite, her nursery charms, her beauty and wit capture the King's fancy, and he makes her Mme. de Maintenon, but she is too saintly even to sleep with him until his real wife, Maria Theresa, finally kicks the bucket. Basically a weather report from the Roi de Soleil, but just the thing for those who fancy inside dope on the royal dead.

Pub Date: July 1, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1978