Louis XIV of France  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Louis XIV (5 September 1638 - 1 September 1715), known as the Sun King (French: le Roi Soleil, see Louis XIV as Apollo), was King of France and of Navarre.

For much of Louis's reign, France stood as the leading European power, engaging in three major wars—the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession—and two minor conflicts—the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. He encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political, military and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Colbert, Turenne and Vauban, as well as Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Le Brun, Rigaud, Le Vau, Mansart, Perrault and Le Nôtre.

Upon his death just days before his seventy-seventh birthday, Louis was succeeded by his five-year-old great-grandson who became Louis XV. All his intermediate heirs—his son Louis, le Grand Dauphin; the Dauphin's eldest son Louis, duc de Bourgogne; and Bourgogne's eldest son Louis, duc de Bretagne—predeceased Louis.

Origin of the "Sun King" epithet

Louis XIV is known as the Sun King (French: le Roi Soleil). This is partially due to a ballet in which he played at age 15, see Louis XIV as Apollo the Sun King.

In fiction

Alexandre Dumas portrayed Louis in novels, first as a child in Twenty Years After, then as a young man in The Vicomte de Bragelonne, in which he is a central character. French academic Jean-Yves Tadié argued that the latter novel really revolves around the beginning of Louis's personal rule. Dumas's novel The Man in the Iron Mask recounts the legend that the mysterious prisoner was actually Louis's twin brother and has spawned numerous film adaptations.

In 1910, the American historical novelist Charles Major wrote "The Little King: A Story of the Childhood of King Louis XIV". Louis is a major character in the 1959 historical novel "Angélique et le Roy" ("Angélique and the King"), part of the Angelique Series. The protagonist, a strong-willed lady at Versailles, rejects the King's advances and refuses to become his mistress. A later book, the 1961 "Angélique se révolte" ("Angélique in Revolt") details the dire consequences of her defying this powerful monarch.

A character based on Louis plays an important role in The Age of Unreason, a series of four alternate history novels written by American science fiction and fantasy author Gregory Keyes.

While The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, directed by Roberto Rossellini in 1966, shows Louis's rise to power after the death of Cardinal Mazarin, Le Roi Danse (The King Dances), directed by Gérard Corbiau in 2000, reveals Louis through the eyes of Jean-Baptiste Lully, his court musician. Julian Sands portrayed Louis in Roland Jaffe's Vatel in 2000.

Louis features significantly in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, specifically The Confusion, the greater part of which takes place at Versailles.

In the 39 Clues series universe, it has been noted that Louis was part of the Cahill branch, Tomas.

The 16-year-old Louis XIV, as played by the Irish actor Robert Sheehan, was a major character of the short-lived historical fantasy series Young Blades from January to June 2005.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Louis XIV of France" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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