marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

False Dawn

False Dawn:  Women in the Age of the Sun King by Louis Auchincloss

Being a series of short biographies on prominent women in that era.  French, English, Italian, Swedish.  Mostly royal, or at least noble, but some climbed to their positions -- like Lady Masham, whose climb sprang from her being a servant to Queen Anne.

Interesting tales.  Sometimes about their personal lives, sometimes about the great events they were involved in and affected -- the Fronde, the War of Spanish Succession, the Glorious Revolution, the Jansenist controversy in France.

Their interactions with the world they lived in and the social structures that held them all.  The author compares a number of them with the heroines of Corneille's tragedies -- high-minded, proud of birth, ambitious, and capable of the most vicious jealousies.
Tags: history reviews: 15th-18th centuries, politics, world-building: nobility, world-building: royalty

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