The Accursed Kings

The Accursed Kings

The Accursed Kings

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The Accursed Kings (), is a sequence of seven historical novels by Maurice Druon, of the Académie française.

The seven books are:
I. Le Roi de fer (The Iron King)
II. La Reine étranglée (The Strangled Queen)
III. Les Poisons de la couronne (The Poisons of the Crown)
IV. La Loi des mâles (The Royal Succession)
V. La Louve de France (The She-Wolf of France)
VI. Le Lis et le Lion (The Lily and the Lion)
VII. Quand un Roi perd la France (When a King Loses France)

Plot summary

The novels take place during the reigns of the last five Direct Capetian kings and the first two Valois kings, from Philip the Fair to John II. The plot revolves around the attempts of Robert of Artois to reclaim the county of Artois from his aunt Mahaut.

Style and themes

The book's characters are colorful and larger than life, but also have depth. The narration is gripping and very much plot-driven, whether a conspiracy to assassinate the King or an exuberant teenager's search for romance are being recounted. The books are very thoroughly researched, with extensive and quite interesting footnotes; however, Druon does not hesitate to fill the silences of history with drama. The narration highlights the centuries-long effort by the French monarchy and especially the Capetian to transform feudal France into a Nation-State.


In 1972 a TV miniseries was made out of The Accursed Kings. Sets and costumes were kept minimal, giving the feel of a small theater production.

2005 remake

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