From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"IN 1663 it became the policy of Louis XIV to help Portugal against Spain, but the succour which he gave was indirect; subsidies were secretly furnished, the levying of troops was favoured, and a crowd of volunteers hastened there. Between this small army, commanded by Schomberg, and the feeble Spanish troops which disputed the soil with it, there were each summer many marches and counter-marches with but few results, many skirmishes and small fights, and among the latter, perhaps, one victory. Who troubles himself about it now? The curious reader, however, who only looks to his own pleasure, cannot help saying that all this was good, since the Letters of the Portuguese Nun grew from it."--"La notice sur Mlle Aïssé" (1846) by Sainte-Beuve
"The extensive wars wherewith Louis XIV was burdened during his reign, while draining the State's treasury and exhausting the substance of the people, none the less contained the secret that led to the prosperity of a swarm of those bloodsuckers who are always on the watch for public calamities, which, instead of appeasing, they promote or invent so as, precisely, to be able to profit from them the more advantageously. The end of this so very sublime reign was perhaps one of the periods in the history of the French Empire when one saw the emergence of the greatest number of these mysterious fortunes whose origins are as obscure as the lust and debauchery that accompany them. It was toward the close of this period, and not long before the Regent sought, by means of the famous tribunal which goes under the name of the Chambre de Justice, to flush this multitude of traffickers, that four of them conceived the idea for the singular revels whereof we are going to give an account."--120 Days (1785) by Marquis de Sade
For much of Louis's reign, France stood as the leading European power, engaging in three major wars—the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession—and two minor conflicts—the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. He encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political, military and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Colbert, Turenne and Vauban, as well as Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Le Brun, Rigaud, Le Vau, Mansart, Perrault and Le Nôtre.
Upon his death just days before his seventy-seventh birthday, Louis was succeeded by his five-year-old great-grandson who became Louis XV. All his intermediate heirs—his son Louis, le Grand Dauphin; the Dauphin's eldest son Louis, duc de Bourgogne; and Bourgogne's eldest son Louis, duc de Bretagne—predeceased Louis.
Origin of the "Sun King" epithet
Louis XIV is known as the Sun King (French: le Roi Soleil). This is partially due to a ballet in which he played at age 15, see Louis XIV as Apollo the Sun King.
Alexandre Dumas portrayed Louis in novels, first as a child in Twenty Years After, then as a young man in The Vicomte de Bragelonne, in which he is a central character. French academic Jean-Yves Tadié argued that the latter novel really revolves around the beginning of Louis's personal rule. Dumas's novel The Man in the Iron Mask recounts the legend that the mysterious prisoner was actually Louis's twin brother and has spawned numerous film adaptations.
In 1910, the American historical novelist Charles Major wrote "The Little King: A Story of the Childhood of King Louis XIV". Louis is a major character in the 1959 historical novel "Angélique et le Roy" ("Angélique and the King"), part of the Angelique Series. The protagonist, a strong-willed lady at Versailles, rejects the King's advances and refuses to become his mistress. A later book, the 1961 "Angélique se révolte" ("Angélique in Revolt") details the dire consequences of her defying this powerful monarch.
While The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, directed by Roberto Rossellini in 1966, shows Louis's rise to power after the death of Cardinal Mazarin, Le Roi Danse (The King Dances), directed by Gérard Corbiau in 2000, reveals Louis through the eyes of Jean-Baptiste Lully, his court musician. Julian Sands portrayed Louis in Roland Jaffe's Vatel in 2000.
In the 39 Clues series universe, it has been noted that Louis was part of the Cahill branch, Tomas.