Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Radio Adaptation of Antonia Fraser's "Love And Louis IV" on BBC Radio 4

# Hardcover: 416 pages

# Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (24 Aug 2006)

# Genre: Biography/Historical

I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to join me in listening to the radio adaptation of Antonia Fraser's most recent historical novel, titled "Love and Louis XIV" on BBC's "Book of the Week" on Radio 4. I don't usually prefer "listening" to a book over "reading" it, but these five 20-min segments, abridged and read so beautifully, are just perfect for giving me a feel for a book. If I like the sound of it, it makes it easier for me to go buy a copy for myself. If you intend listening to the program do hurry for the BBC archives the program for only 7 days after the broadcast. Enjoy!


The book centres around the Sun King and his relationship with numerous and fascinating women. Naturally dividing into five parts, it concentrates on the King's mother, Anne of Austria, to whom he was devoted; his first important mistress, Louise de la Valliere, who bore him several illegitimate children; Athenais Marquise de Montespan, who acted as unofficial Queen of Versailles until her involvement in the affair of poisons, and of course Marie Therese, his wife; and Madame de Maintenon, governess to the illegitimate royal children. The fifth part concentrates on his relations in old age with his daughters, granddaughters and the wife of his grandson. It vividly bring to life the vast edifice of Louis XIV's court - the magnificence, artistic splendour, elaborate ritual and in some cases, absurdity and misery.


Dawn said...

Since I've started listening to podcasts I've stopped listening to Radio 4 stuff on line...I need to get back to it though. They have a good book show called "Open Book" also that covers different books and book topics.

Susan Abraham said...

It all sounds colourful, sensual and highly-exoctic or perhaps I should say, a little erotic....the merriment of the royalty often before a tumble.

Lotus Reads said...

Dawn Ahhh, yes, the iPod is going to have to be my next big buy. I would do all the housework without a murmur if I could podcast some of the NPR book shows!

Suse I love the intrigue that surrounded royalty in the past. Like they say, "Uneasy lies the head..."

sasgirl said...

I'm reading Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette. I highly recommend this author! Her writing style is very elegant and easy to read. She also brings the main subject to life.

Even the director, Sofia Coppola, adapted the movie "Marie Antoinette" from this book from all the biographies of M.A.

Thanks Lotus for letting us know about her new book. I've been wanting to learn more about Louis XIV!

Lotus Reads said...

hi, sasgirl!

I can't wait to read your review of "Marie Antoinette" (the book) once you're done.

About the movie, has it been released in Canada yet? And if it has, can we go see it together? I know N.'s been itching to see it, we could take her along.

sasgirl said...

*Sigh* Unfortunately, I'm very slow at reading this one. I think it will take me at least a year to finish it! :)

Sure, we can definitely go see the movie together when it comes out in theatres. I checked and it comes out on October 20. And I would love it if N. could join us!

Susan in Italy said...

This sounds really interesting. I visited Versailles along woth about 10,000 other people and basically marched through the place in the dryest fashion possible. This would probably bring much more meaning to what I saw.

booklogged said...

I wish I could listen to this on the BBC, but alas. . . Guess I'll just have to read it. Sounds like a good one.

Lotus Reads said...

Is anyone else having a problem with blogger? My last three posts, although they are published, won't show up on my main page, nor will the comments? HELP!

Lotus Reads said...

Sasgirl Marie Antoinette is a popular subject indeed. There is a new book out titled "Abundance" by Sena Jeter Naslund. It deal with the life of Marie Antoinette and looks fascinating - I wouldn't mind reading it and then you and I could compare notes on how Marie Antoinette is handled by each of these authors! :)

Susan I daresay a radio reading like the one BBC offers with the sounds of Versailles in the background would definitely transport you back there and you'll see it through different eyes, too!

booklogged You can listen to this online!