Once again, Nancy Mitford is the gossipy friend who happens to know quite a lot about 17th century France. The Sun King is a biography of both the French monarch and his home, Versailles. From the building of the palace to Louis XIV's many relationships, Mitford takes her informed but light-hearted attitude towards the different aspects of the court of the Sun King. Instead of a comprehensive biography, Mitford focuses on the goings on and relationships within Versailles. There are, of course, more than a few bastard children, mistresses, intrigues, and (my personal favorite) public trials of suspected poisoners. Instead of appearing self serious or respectful merely because of the weighty historical personages, Mitford takes elements that humanize the historical figures as well as characterize their times. Her work is always a combination of academic history and glossy magazines, and she does a splendid job again of walking that line. I do prefer Mitford's historical works (like [b:Voltaire in Love|13330373|Voltaire in Love|Nancy Mitford|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349395395s/13330373.jpg|1040208]) over her novels ([b:The Pursuit of Love|8041279|The Pursuit of Love|Nancy Mitford|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320445188s/8041279.jpg|821072]), and The Sun King is another excellent addition.