This beautiful book has just arrived and, as I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading it, I can’t resist sharing a few photos. When books like this exist, e-readers have a lot of catching up to do! It’s the newly-published Folio Society edition of The Sun King by Nancy Mitford. I rejoined the Folio Society last year because they tempted me with the boxset of E F Benson’s Mapp & Lucia novels for $9.99. This is the last of the books I had to buy and it’s quite spectacular.
It’s almost a folio size hardback. The cover, as you can see, is all blue, white and gold. Here’s the lovely title page with a painting of the Orangerie at Versailles.
The book is full of illustrations, including some lovely portraits I hadn’t seen before. This is Marie Louise, Queen of Spain, daughter of the Duc d’Orleans & Henrietta, sister of Charles II.
This is the Duc de Villars, Marechal of France. The reproduction of the plates is stunning, my poor photos don’t do them justice. Roy Strong has written the Introduction & says that Nancy Mitford’s portrait of Louis XIV is full of gossip & fascinating snippets of information from the diaries & memoirs of the time. I read & enjoyed her biography of Madame de Pompadour last year so I’m looking forward to this. I also have her biographies of Voltaire & Frederick the Great on preorder as they’re being reprinted by Vintage Classics in a few months. The Sun King & Madame de Pompadour are also being reprinted so if you’re tempted, you don’t have to buy this edition, although it’s well worth it for the illustrations alone.