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The Fabrication of Louis XIV Paperback – March 23, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0300059434 ISBN-10: 0300059434

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (March 23, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300059434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300059434
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on June 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book in grad school, and it was one of the most enjoyable and accessible books I read. It is not a biography of Louis XIV but an extensive study on the image-making of the king. The use of the negative-sounding word "Fabrication" in the title makes the cover look very intriguing as it may imply to some that Burke has uncovered much deceit surrounding Louis' image. Actually, Burke uses this term to mean the process and constant renewal of the representation of Louis XIV (10-11). Burke includes chapters on the following subjects: the types of persuasion used (medals, festivals, allegories, etc.), a brief background on Louis' "sunrise", the organization of Louis' image-making system (academies, etc.), the royal image from the time of "personal rule," image-making through victories, reconstruction through peacetime, Louis' "sunset," differences between the ideal and the real, antagonistic images (loyal subjects making gentle fun or giving hopeful advise and actual enemies of the king), the ways in which Louis' image was perceived including the "targets" of Louis' image-makers, and a comparison with rulers before, during, and after his reign. Strangely enough, the Third Reich is not mentioned in the latter chapter which would be a glaring omission to me had it not left the door open for me to write a term paper making such a comparison.
Burke presents a very thorough study examining such things as the changes in medal inscriptions through the years of Louis' rule to a look at what was meant by "public" during this time (pp. 131 and 152). The many photographs makes for a very interesting and enjoyable book.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
The theory that ritual, pomp and circumstance can serve to enhance political power is not a new one. This book, however, makes the case that Louis XIV, in everything he did, worked to style himself as an absolute leader, a god-like ruler. From his artistic and architectural programs, to sumptuary laws, and official celebrations, Louis XIV's goal was always to assert and enhance his power. This is an enthralling book that gives insight to the era of Louis XIV as well as perspective on the use of symbol and ritual to create and maintain power.
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