Monday, December 8, 2008

In the Shadow of the Sun King

I recently read In the Shadow of the Sun King by Golden Keyes Parson and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is the story of Madeliene Clavell, a French Huguenot, in the time of Louis XIV when the central religion of France was Catholic. During the 17th century in France, French Protestants were given two choices-convert to Catholicism or face imprisonment/death.

Madeline had grown up in the palace and was childhood friends with Louis XIV. They hunted and courted each other but she knew she would never be able to marry a king. She falls in love, marries, and begins a family outside of the palace on her family estates with another Hugeunot. When dragoons arrive at her family home and threaten to tear her family apart, she decides to travel back to Versailles and try to plead to the King for his vow of protection. We travel along with her as she pleads to the king for mercy, has havoc wrecked upon her family, and makes new, interesting friends along the way.

This is a great, quick paced voyage through France during the time of Louis XIV with rich historical detail. I was not aware of the conflict between the Protestants and the Catholic church during this time period and found the book to be a great glimpse into the religious turmoil of the period. I have always loved learning about history through historical fiction and this book gives a glimpse into the lives of the French in the countryside, at Versailles, and in Geneva, Switzerland.

1 comment:

Dionne said...

Sounds facinating! I love french history.