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Authors: Karleen Koen

Before Versailles

BOOK: Before Versailles
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Dark Angels
Now Face to Face
Through a Glass Darkly

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2011 by Karleen Koen
Title page art:
A View of the Royal Palace of Fontainebleau
(oil on panel) by Hendrik Frans de Cort (1742–1810) (attr. to)
Private Collection/ © Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts, New York/The Bridgeman Art Library Nationality / copyright status: Flemish / out of copyright
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
CROWN is a trademark and the Crown colophon is a registered trademark of
Random House, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Koen, Karleen.
Before Versailles : a novel of Louis XIV / Karleen Koen. — 1st ed.
p. cm.
1. Louis XIV, King of France, 1638–1715—Fiction. 2. France—Kings and rulers—Fiction. 3. France—History—Louis XIV, 1643–1715—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3561.O334B44 2011
813′.54—dc22       2010035562
eISBN: 978-0-307-71659-0
Jacket design by Jennifer O’Connor
For X
for Louise de la Vallière



Other Books by This Author

Title Page





Two months later, May 1661, at the royal palace of Fontainebleau …

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8

June 1661 …

Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18

July 1661 …

Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35

August 1661 …

Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39

September 1661 …

Chapter 40

Author’s Note


About the Author

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities
Create in me a clean heart, O God …

— PSALMS 51:7–10



Louis XIV:
king of France from 1643 to 1715.
Maria Teresa:
queen of France; infanta or princess of Spain.
younger brother of Louis XIV, first prince of France; formerly Duke d’Anjou, now Duke d’Orléans; known as Monsieur at court.
Duchess d’Orléans, first princess of France; married to Prince Philippe; sister of Charles II, king of England; known as Madame at court.
Guy-Armand de Gramont:
Count de Guiche; friend of Prince Philippe; brother of Catherine; cousin of Péguilin.
Princess de Monaco, married to crown prince of Monaco; lady-in-waiting to Madame; sister of Guy-Armand de Gramont; cousin of Péguilin.
Countess de Soissons; superintendent of the queen’s household; niece of Cardinal Mazarin.
Athénaïs de Tonnay-Charente:
maid of honor to the queen.
La Porte:
valet to Louis XIV.
friend and captain of the guards to Louis XIV; cousin of Catherine and Guy.
Louise de la Baume le Blanc:
maid of honor to Madame; cousin of François-Timoléon de Choisy; formerly in the household of the late Duke d’Orléans.
Fanny de Montalais:
best friend of Louise de la Baume le Blanc; maid of honor to Madame.
queen mother of France; former regent of France; mother of Louis XIV and Philippe; a princess of Spain.
Madame de Motteville:
lady-in-waiting to the queen mother.


Cardinal Jules Mazarin:
former first minister; deceased.
Cardinal Richelieu:
minister to Louis XIII; deceased.
Viscount Nicolas:
superintendent of finance.
Jean-Baptiste Colbert:
official in Louis XIV’s government.
Charles d’Artagnan:
lieutenant of Louis XIV’s musketeers.
Marshall de Gramont:
one of the officers of the crown; father of Guy-Armand and Catherine.
Prince de Monaco:
prince of a small nearby kingdom; ally of Louis XIV; his son, the crown prince, is married to Catherine.


Madame de Choisy:
noblewoman at court.
BOOK: Before Versailles
6.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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