There can be few more mesmerizing historical narratives than the story of how the confident monarchy left by Louis XIV in 1715 became the discredited failure toppled by revolution in 1789. This brilliant new book is the first in forty years to describe the whole period, from the last days of the "Sun King" to the wars of Napoleon. In a groundbreaking work of scholarship, Colin Jones argues that, contrary to popular belief, the house of Bourbon's downfall was hardly a foregone conclusion. Producing an illuminating account of a society torn apart from within, he recounts the saga of how a dynamic French society - the heart of the Enlightenment - fell prey to the debt and humiliation of its wars against Britain.
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