King Louis XIV of France

Charles Perrault: Courses de testes et de bague faittes par le Roy, et par les princes et seigneurs de sa cour, en l'annee 1662

Paris: Imprimerie Roy, 1670

Sp Coll S.M. 2024

This volume has the armorial binding of Louis XIV, (1638-1715), the "Sun King" who ruled France from 1643 until 1715, and was widely regarded as the greatest monarch of his age because of the power he wielded and the magnificence of his court. Louis believed he was an absolute monarch with God-given authority. He cultivated his dazzling image carefully and took the sun as his emblem. Early in his reign, he worked with his finance minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to extend control of the country, reviving the use of regional officials or "intendants" and carrying out financial and administrative re-organization. During his reign, France was dominant in political and cultural affairs.

This volume Courses de testes et de bague by Charles Perrault (1628-1703), now part of the Stirling Maxwell collection of emblem books, commemorates the carousel which was arranged in Paris in 1662 by Louis XIV in an attempt to revive the traditions of chivalry and display associated with medieval tournaments. It is illustrated with engravings by Israel Silvèstre (1621-1691), Giles Rousselet (1610-1686), and Charles Chauveau (1613-1676) and belongs to Perrault's early writing career, before he embarked on the literary genre of fairy tales for which he is now most remembered.

Louis XIV: Text page (p.40) from Perrault, Charles: Courses de testes...
Text page (page 40) from Perrault, Charles: Courses de testes...

Go to the next book in the exhibition, previously owned by: John Flamsteed.