Versailles: A History - Robert B. Abrams

Versailles: A History

By Robert B. Abrams

  • Release Date: 2017-08-16
  • Genre: Europe
Score: 4.5
From 5 Ratings


King Louis XIV had many loves, but none as compelling as Versailles, the modest country estate he transformed into one of the world's most spectacular palaces. Here is the dramatic - and tragic - story of Versailles and the men and women who made it their home.


  • Fascinating Tour of Versailles

    By John David Grace
    Kudos to historian Robert B. Abrams for his enlightening, well-told history of Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles, one of the world’s great architectural treasures. Versailles began life as a country house, a maison de plaisance, with few large rooms, Abrams writes, “other than a long, drafty hall where the courtiers slept, or in most cases, tried to sleep. Unpretentious and inconspicuous in its surroundings of woodland, marsh, and fen, it looked far from regal. But Louis loved the place . . .” “The king’s principal adviser,” Abrams continues, “strove in vain to turn Louis’s eyes away from Versailles. He rightly feared that the young and willful monarch would spend more than the overstrained finances of the country could bear; if money were to be spent on a grand new palace, the place to build it was Paris, not in the wilds of Versailles. But Louis did not want to live in Paris; he wanted to live in the country. Versailles was the place for him.” And so it was. What did I like about this book? First, the writing is stellar. Second, the author has an eye for telling detail. Third, and most important to me, Abrams portrays the men and women of Versailles as fully formed - with all the virtues and vices one could imagine in the French Court. Recommended for people who like to read about royalty but also for anyone who enjoys a good historical yarn.