If there be no nobility of descent, all the more indispensable is it that there should be nobility of ascent and its lack has always been the downfall of France.


The man who outshone the Sun King : a life of gleaming opulence and wretched reversal in the reign of Louis XIV      Charles Drazin  France Court and courtiers Biography, Fouquet, Nicolas, 1615-1680  [Cambridge, Mass.] : Da Capo Press, 2008 Hardcover. Originally published: London : William Heinemann, 2007. 1st Da Capo Press ed. and printing.     xi, 338 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 310-328) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Late in 1664, the musketeer D’Artagnan rode beside a carriage as it left Paris, carrying his friend Nicolas Fouquet to life imprisonment in a cell next door to the Man in the Iron Mask. From a glorious zenith as Louis XIV’s first minister and Cardinal Mazarin’s protege; and eventual protector; builder of the stunningly opulent chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte; and patron of the arts and lover of beautiful women, Fouquet had suffered a wretched decline.

The story of the rise and fall of Nicolas Fouquet is both compelling and unforgettable. Charles Drazin’s beautifully written and vivid account brings to life Fouquet’s remarkable gains in fortune, influence, and power, as well as the lavish and hazardous world of the royal court in seventeenth-century France.

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