A Well Read Lady or Gentleman

I have been reading about French History for many years and have amassed a rather large collection of books on the subject.  I have chosen some of my favorites and have included them here for you.  In each category you will notice a title with an asterik next to it; it is my highly recommended read.

Louis XIV:
Louis XIV: A Royal Life by Olivier Bernier
Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser
Athenais by Lisa Hilton

The Man Who Outshone the Sun King by Charles Drazin
Louis XIV by Vincent Cronin
Young Louis XIV by Burke Wilkinson
Passionate Minds: Emile du Chatelet, Voltaire and the Great Love Affair of the Enlightenment by David Bodanis

Madame de Sevigne by Frances Mossiker*
The Affair of the Poisons by Anne Somerset
The Sun King  by Nancy Mitford
A Woman's Life in the Court of the Sun King by Duchesse d'Orleans

Louis XV:
Memoirs of Louis XV and XVI by Madame du Hausset

Madame du Barry by Joan Haslip
Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford*
Madame Pompadour: A Life by Evelyn Lever
Louis the Beloved by Olivier Bernier

Louis XVI
Louis and Antoinette by Vincent Cronin*
Journal of the Terror: Being an account of the occurrences in the Temple during the confinement of Louis XIV by Jean–Baptiste Clery
When The King Took Flight by Timothy Tackett

Marie Antoinette
The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette by Marie-France Boyer
The World In The Time Of Marie Antoinette
Marie-Therese: The Fate of Marie Antoinette's Daughter by Susan Nagel
Recollections of Leonard: Hairdresser to Queen Marie Antoinette

Memoirs of the Courts of Europe: Memoirs of Marie Antoinette by Madame Campan
The Journal of Madame Royale by Elizabeth Powers

Queen of Fashion by Caroline Weber
Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser
To The Scaffold: The Life of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson*
A Scented Palace: The Secret History of Marie Antoinette's Perfumer by Elisabeth de Feydeay

Secrets of Marie Antoinette: A Collection of Letters by Olivier Bernier
Marie Antoinette and the Last Garden at Versailles by Christan Duvernois
Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France by Evelyne Lever
Rescue the Queen: A Diary of the French Revolution by Hans Axel von Fersen

Napoleon’s Privates: 2500 Years of History Uncovered by Tony Perrottet
Napoleon On Napoleon by Somerset de Chair
Napoleon and his Wives and Women by Christopher Hibbert
Napoleon Bonaparte by Alan Schom
At The Court Of Napoleon by Katell Le Bourhis

Napoleon’s Lost Fleet by Laura Foreman & Ellen Phillips
The Horizon book of The Age Of Napoleon by J. Christopher Herold
Napoleon & Wellington by Andrew Roberts
More Than a Queen: The Story of Josephine Bonaparte by Frances Mossiker
The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Codes by Mark Urban

The Dairy of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier by Jakob Walter
At Napoleon’s side in Russia by Armand De Caulaincourt

Eigtheenth Century France:
What Life Was Like in Europe’s Romantic Era by Time Life
Mon Cher Papa: Franklin and the Ladies of Paris by Claude-Anne Lopez
The Man Who Would Be King: The Life of Philippe d’Orleans by Christine Pevitt
The Age of Magnificence: Duc de Saint-Simon Ted-Morgan,ed

Souvenirs by Madame Vigee Le Brun
Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun:  The Odyssey of an Artist by Gita May
Liberty: The Lives and Times of Six Women in the Revolution by Lucy Moore

Words of Fire, Deeds of Blood by Oliver Bernier
Blood Sisters: The French Revolution in Women’s Memory by Marilyn Yalom
Rousseau and Revolution by Will and Ariel Durant
Before the Deluge by Evelyn Farr

Pleasure and Privilege by Olivier Bernier*

Dress in France in the Eighteenth Century by Madeleine Delpierre
Fatal Purity by Ruth Scurr
Citizens by Simon Schama
Mistress to an Age by J. Christopher Herold
Memoirs of the Comtesse de Boigne
Theroigne de Mericourt by Elizabeth Roudinesco
Talleyrand by Duff Cooper
Lafayette by Harlow Giles Unger
Monsiuer D’Eon is a Woman by Gary Kates
An Eye-Witness Account of the French Revolution by Helen Maria Williams
Last Letters: Prisons and the Prisoners of the French Revolution by Olivier Blanc

Eighteenth Century England:
Aristocrats by Stella Tillyard*

Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman
Wellington: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert
Nelson: Love & Fame by Edgar Vincent

Wedlock: The True Story of the Disastrous Marriage of... by Wendy Moore
The Grand Tour by Christopher Hibbert

Beloved Emma: The Life of Lady Hamilton by Flora Fraser
The Secret Life of George IV by Diane Hagar

Prince of Pleasure by Saul David
Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III by Flora Fraser
A Royal Affair:  George III and His Scandalous Siblings by Stella Tillyard
The Unruly Queen: The Life of Queen Caroline by Flora Fraser
George III: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert

An Assortment of Good Historical Reads:
The Short and Bloody History of Knights, Spies, and Pirates by John Farman
A Treasury of Royal Scandals by Michael Farquhar
Sex with Kings by Eleanor Herman
Henry VIII by Alison Weir
The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
Salt by Mark Kurlansky
An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England by Venetia Murray
Victoria’s Daughters by Jerrold M. Packard
What Jane Austen Ate and What Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool

Ma Belle France:
Versailles: The Biography of a Palace by Tony Spawforth
The Judgment of Paris by Ross King*

Chateaux of the Loire Valley by Robert Polidori
The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence by Michael Jacobs
Paris: Great Cities Through the Ages by Renzo Rossi

Highly Recommended Reading:


  1. Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do, what a fantastic list! Merci!!!


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