Louis XIV: The Sun King
So began the personal rule of Louis XIV, which lasted a further 54 years until his death in 1715. From his newly-built palace at Versailles, Louis was able to project an image of himself as the centre of gravity around which all of France revolved: it’s no accident that he became known as the Sun King. He centralized power to the extent he was able to say ‘L’etat c’est moi’: I am the state. Under his rule France became the leading diplomatic, military and cultural power in Europe.
Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature at the University of Oxford
Professor of Early Modern History at the University of St Andrews
Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Warwick
Producer: Luke Mulhall