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Gossip or Chronicler? Versailles and Saint-Simon

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Michel Petheram assesses the importance and reliability of a courtier whose 'memoires' offer graphic vignettes of the last days of Louis XIV.

Was Louis XIV a great king? This question, which has exercised many historians of the past and present, will not be answered in this article. But when the reign and character of the Sun King are discussed, sooner rather than later will crop up the name of Saint-Simon.

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