Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Louis XIV [the 'sun king']

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Louis XIV (1638-1715). In spite of the fact that modern historians do not recognize a single element of greatness in Louis, either in war or statesmanship or personal character, conventional literature continues to speak of him as "the Great Monarch," and fulsome biographies are still published. His only virtue was that he paid close attention to his royal duties, but it was two great Ministers, Colbert and Louvois, who made France the richest country with the finest army in Europe. He did much for the adornment of Paris, but he hated the city, and very rarely entered it, and the single reason for this embellishment of it was that it was his capital. He spent vast sums on palaces (Versailles, etc.), while whole provinces of France literally starved, and the taxation was appalling. He compelled the nobility to live in or near his Court and for gambling, looseness, and murderous intrigue, few Courts ever surpassed it. All classes were, with few exceptions, corrupt, poisoning was epidemic, and devil-worship [see] had an extraordinary vogue. Louis's personal character was the joke of Europe. From the age of sixteen to forty-five he never attempted to curb his passions, and it is an audacious untruth of the subsidized historian of the Jesuits, Crétineau-Joly, that they "made war on the King's heart." Three Jesuit confessors in succession guided his "conscience" during the most flagrant period of his irregularities, - when his mistresses ruled the Court and had better suites in it than the Queen. At the time of his last affair Paris was fouled by scandals which astonished Europe. As, in addition, his health was now poor - he was a glutton at table - the clergy weaned him from his adulteries and got him to atone by the persecution and suppression of the Huguenots [see], which did irreparable injury to France. Belloc's Monarchy (1938) shows that Catholics can no longer suppress as much as they used to do, but there is more truth (partly obscured by the criminal splendour of his Court) in H. N. Williams' Mme. de Maintenon and Louis XIV (1910).

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