There can be few more mesmerising historical narratives than the story of how the dazzlingly confident and secure monarchy Louis XIV, 'the Sun King', left to his successors in 1715 became the discredited, debt-ridden failure toppled by Revolution in1789. The further story of the bloody unravelling of the Revolution until its seizure by Napoleon is equally astounding.Colin Jones' brilliant new book is the first in 40 years to describe the whole period. Jones' key point in this gripping narrative is that France was NOT doomed to Revolution and that the 'ancien regime' DID remain dynamic and innovatory, twisting and turning until finally stoven in by the intolerable costs and humiliation of its wars with Britain.
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