At the risk of addiction to the fascinating era of the Court of the Sun King, I highly recommend the following books:
DeJean, Joan. The Essence of Style; How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafés, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour. —This is a wonderful book on how “style” was created at the court of the Sun King. Delightful reading.
Fraser, Antonia. Love and Louis XIV; the Women in the Life of the Sun King. —If you read one book from this list, this would be the one.
Lair, Jules. Louise de la Vallière and the Early Life of Louis XIV. —Louise de la Vallière has been blessed with excellent French historians. Jules Lair is one, and luckily, his biography was translated into English. (Note: this book is not easy to find.)
Lewis, W. H. The Splendid Century; Life in the France of Louis XIV. —The classic.
Mitford, Nancy. The Sun King. —Nancy Mitford is a wonderful writer.
Orléans, Charlotte-Elisabeth, duchesse d’. A Woman’s Life in the Court of the Sun King; Letters of Liselotte von der Pfalz. —Liselotte (Philippe’s second wife) didn’t come to the court of the Sun King until the end of the period covered in Mistress of the Sun, but she paints a wonderfully frank portrait of life at court.
Saint-Simon, Duc de. Memoirs of the Duc de Saint-Simon on the times of Louis XIV and the Regency. —Saint-Simon was not, in fact, at the court of the Sun King during the period of time covered in Mistress of the Sun, but he was—evidently—an irrepresible gossip and fabulous writer.
Sevigne, Marchioness de. Letters from the Marchioness de Sevigne to her Daughter, the Countess de Grignan. —Madame de Sevigne’s letters are famous, and for good reason.
Somerset, Anne. The Affair of the Poisons; Murder, Infanticide & Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV. —This is a wonderful book, and as interesting as the title suggests.