A rather scholarly work on a specific period- Louis XIV -- which offers a wealth of interesting dat. The portrait of Louis himself, himself, his amours, the silly protocol of his court, reflects his personal magnetism and is gossipy and popularly slanted, but scarcely presents a convincing record of Louis' greatness. The substance of the text is devoted to describing the social life of the peasant, the urban dweller, the clergy, the professional class, the intellectuals. Something is definitely lacking:- it is neither a popular book nor yet does it convey an impression of profound scholarship. It lacks interpretive values and seems to throw very little additional light on the reign of the Roi Soleil, or to bring out many facts about pre-revolutionary France, not already known. Supplementary reading for college libraries -- its probable market.