I first became acquainted with the duke de La Rochefoucauld through the books of Alexandre Dumas - La Guerre des Femmes and the Trois Mousquetaires series. These books, that I read in childhood, left me an indelible taste for everything regarding the Fronde and its troubles - later I read the Mémoires de Mademoiselle de Montpensier, du cardinal de Retz, and there were still lots of references to that troubled period in Saint-Simon. So I guess it was just a matter of time until I read La Rochefoucauld. And I'm glad I did - the language is extremely elegant - and how I love that archaic French! - and the narrative reads like a Dumas novel - actually, it was from this book that Dumas took the idea for the diamonds jewels in Les Trois Mousquetaires. Never boring, it is extremely interesting in the way it shows how politics was done in those days, the Nobility privileges and what they considered their God-given rights, and all the petty intrigues that determined such important and fateful events as a Civil war. It sounds simultaneously familiar and remotely romantic.
I wonder what will be the next book I'll read about the Grand Siècle?