Custom Louis the Beloved: The Life of Louis XV essay paper sample
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In the modern world of literature, very few authors can be compared to Olivier Bernier. This is because of his style of writing and areas that he specialized on; whereas most modern literature writers focus of science fiction stories, Olivier Bernier has opted to keep literature lovers up to date with the events that happened thousands of years ago. He specializes in writing books that talk about ancient history.
Apart from "Louis The Beloved, The Life of Louis XV" which was published in 1984 some of his other bestselling books are "Pleasure and Privilege, Life in France, Naples and the United States, 1770 1790" which was published in 1980, a novel titled "Art and Craft" (1980); "The Eighteenth Century Woman" (1982); "Lafayette, Hero of Two Worlds" (1983); "Secrets of Marie Antoinette" (1985), and "Louis XIV, A Royal Life" (1987). It is important to note that most his publications were under the Doubleday and Company Inc. Olivier Bernier was born in United States of America to French parents; however he spent most his schooling days in France where he completed several degree courses. One of his major achievements was he was awarded the title of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government in 2006.
The purpose of this essay paper is to write a book report on one of Olivier Bernier publications; "Louis the Beloved: The Life of Louis XV". The paper will discuss some of the major events in the book and also the main characters in the book will be mentioned. In addition to that the main themes the author was trying to bring across will also be mentioned in the paper. In conclusion, the paper will give a brief summary of the important points that were discussed or mentioned in the paper.
"Louis the Beloved: The Life of Louis XV"
"Louis the Beloved: The Life of Louis XV" is a 272 paged book that traces the life of Louis XV, the king of France, it offers a glimpse of his complex personality and also looks at the highlights of his fifty-nine year reign. The book was first published in 1984 under the Doubleday and Company Inc but since then several authors have come up with different versions of the same. It is important to note that King Louis XV was the last monarchy king before the beginning of the French revolution in 1789.
According to the author (Olivier Bernier) King Louis was declared the King of France at a tender age of five years; however he did not ascend to the throne or make independent decision concerning the leadership of the monarchy until the death of Fleury. Despite the fact that King Louis XV was a smart, intelligent and at the same time a generous king like most leaders he lacked the qualities of a good leader and most of the decisions he made did not go down well in his people.
In most kingdoms, the issue of love and leadership are one and the same; the same situation was visible during the reign of King Louis. According to the author one woman who was a constant figure in the corridors of the King Louis's palace was Jeanne-Antionette Poisson. It is however important to note that it was not easy for Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson to become maitresse-en-titre. One of the challenges she encountered in the quest to become the king's mistress, she did not come from a wealthy family and therefore it was challenging for her to gain access to the king's palace and have a chance to entertain King Louis XV.
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She also faced resistance and criticism from people close to the King because of her murky past; she was married to a wealthy tycoon and therefore when people noticed that she wanted to become the kings' mistress, she was branded materialistic. The advantage is that Madame de Pompadour as she came to be known was a talent actress and the King could not resist her beauty and charm.
Since Biblical days, love and leadership have never gone hand in hand and in most cases most reigns of most kings was brought to an end by their mistresses. This was the same case during the reign of King Louis XV; most of the decisions that Madame de Pompadour made did not go down well with the administration of the kingdom. For instance she removed from office administrators who were against her decisions and replaced them with her friends / alleys. This weakened the administrative structure of the kingdom and it made the French revolution easier; however as a woman her contribution during the reign of King Louis XV is something that will be discussed by many historians for many generations. This is because she had the will and determination to stamp authority in a male dominated field of leadership and politics.
Another thing that the author has brought out about the life of King Louis XV is that he was not an authoritative and affirmative leader as compared to other leaders in the region. He was easy to manipulate and most decisions that he made were either altered or changed by his senior ministers and also maitresse-en-titre, Madame de Pompadour. This laissez-faire leadership style can be attributed to his upbringing; he grew up as an orphan which means he was lonely most of the time and as result he develop fear of the unknown at the same time he became secretive and uncommunicative. Apart from his upbringing, the king was never given a chance to ascend to the throne by Fleury when he came of age; this means that when he took over power he inherited most of the ministers and administrators that served under the leadership of Fleury and as a result they developed little or no respect at all towards him since they felt he was too young to be a king.
As indicated in the book the reign of King Louis XV was not on the downward spin all the time, he had recorded success in some major departments. According to the author he ensured there was good foreign relationship between France and other European nations despite the fact he was "crucified" on a number of occasions by his diplomats and in the end France developed sour ties with her neighbors. A good example is the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748. His most remembered contribution to the nation's economic growth and development but implementing most of the domestic policies and implementation of internal reforms. Some of the areas that the King focused on according to Olivier Bernier are in relation to the taxation system; during that period there was a lot inequitable in terms of taxation among the population and he strived to reduce this gap. As indicated in the book, despite his efforts to restore some self dignity and pride as a king after making numerous administration mistakes, he remained unpopular until his death.
Summation of the Paper
The reign of King Louis XV is one that was dodged with one controversy after the other and this made him unpopular not only among his people but also in Europe. This book report has critically looked at the life and times of King Louis XV. The paper has started off by giving a brief introduction about the author of the book and other publications. The book has then critically dealt with the leadership of the king and some of the themes that the author brought out in the book. In addition to that, it has discussed the achievement and failures of the king and reasons that contributed to him becoming unpopular ruler despite the fact he had been christened bien-aimé ruler when he ascended to the throne.