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Head of Zeus
Versailles by Colin Jones
 The Landmark Library, 11

Few buildings carry such a freight of historical symbolism as the Palace of Versailles. First built as a hunting lodge by Louis XIII in the early seventeenth century, then radically repurposed by his absolutist son Louis XIV, Versailles became the focus of that king's centralised power.

Drawing on a new wave of research in recent years, particularly on the buildings and material culture of Versailles, Colin Jones, distinguished historian of early modern France, describes the various building campaigns undertaken by Louis XIV and his formal installation of his court at Versailles in 1682; the ritualized rhythms of life at the court of the Sun King; the palace's variegated fortunes under Revolution, First Empire, Restoration and July Monarchy; its return to the political stage in the Franco-Prussian War; its later role as a venue for treaty signings and proclamations; and its continuing legacy as imposing physical embodiment of the ancien régime.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Modern History
09 Aug 2018 * 192pp * £8.99 * 9781786693945
'The book's scope is impressive, particularly given its required brevity, and Jones provides many welcome insights along the way'
'There is a huge cache of books on Versailles addressed to casual readers, but Versailles by Colin Jones stands out'
H-France Review
Colin Jones
Colin Jones
Colin Jones is Professor of History at Queen Mary College, a Fellow of the British Academy and an expert on 18th-century France. He is the author of The Great Nation France 1715-99, A History of France and Paris: Biography of a City.