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"History as it ought to be written." - The New Yorker

Louis XV lived an enchanted life. He had extraordinary good looks, absolute power, spectacular palaces, and the total grandeur that only eighteenth-century France could provide. The French people adored him and called him "the beloved." During his reign, France flourished, and had it not been for his successor, the chaos of the Revolution might never have happened.

History, however, has not only been unkind in its assessment of Louis XV but also mistaken, as this absorbing biography demonstrates. In it, Olivier Bernier explains the development of the negative judgment, showing how the beloved Louis became maligned after his death. The author refutes the unfavorable assessment using such credible sources as the king's state papers, which remain intact in France's national archives.

Louis XV emerges in these pages as one of the best French kings, thoughtful and caring, loving and loved by his people.