• No other English-language biography has so successfully given us a portrait of him as man and monarch ... superb.

    Gareth Russell, The Times
  • Splendour is there not just to dazzle, but also to deceive, and excavating the "real" Louis poses a major challenge for any biography. Philip Mansel's impressive new survey - the best single-volume account of the reign in any language - moves deftly between these fictive and objective worlds

    John Adamson, Sunday Times
  • Authoritative ... Mansel is ideally positioned to examine Louis' record ... Time and space both yield before Mansel's authorial ambition

    Minoo Dinshaw, Daily Telegraph
  • A superb biography ... wonderfully detailed and fluent ... Mansel is alive to every nuance

    Hamish Robinson, Oldie