The Accursed Kings

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The Accursed Kings (French: Les Rois Maudits) is a series of seven historical novels by the French author Maurice Druon, of the Académie française, about the French monarchy in the 13th and 14th centuries. The series has been adapted twice for television.


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.


The series comprises the following novels:

  1. Le Roi de fer, 1955, ISBN 978-2259003148.
    Published in English as The Iron King, ISBN 978-0007491254
  2. La Reine étranglée, 1955, ISBN 978-2259003179.
    Published in English as The Strangled Queen, ISBN 978-0007491278
  3. Les Poisons de la couronne, 1956, ISBN 978-2259016896.
    Published in English as The Poisoned Crown, ISBN 978-0007491308
  4. La Loi des mâles, 1957, ISBN 978-2259016902.
    Published in English as The Royal Succession, ISBN 978-0007491308
  5. La Louve de France, 1959, ISBN 978-2259016919.
    Published in English as The She-Wolf, ISBN 978-0007491308
  6. Le Lys et le Lion, 1960, ISBN 978-2259003155.
    Published in English as The Lily and the Lion, ISBN 978-0330233309
  7. Quand un Roi perd la France, 1977, ISBN 978-2259016933.
    Published in English as The King Without a Kingdom, ISBN 978-0007491377

Television adaptations[edit]

1972 series[edit]

In 1972, a French TV series was made of The Accursed Kings. It was shot in the studio with limited scenery, concentrating on the characters and acting, and giving it the feel of a theatre production. It was widely acclaimed, and was later shown on British television with subtitles.

2005 series[edit]

In 2005, the novels were again adapted in a joint French-Italian production directed by Josée Dayan, starring Philippe Torreton and Jeanne Moreau.


Les Rois Maudits was spoofed on French television in the successful 1973 series Les Maudits Rois Fainéants by Roger Pierre and Jean-Marc Thibault.

The fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire by American writer George R.R. Martin, which has been adapted for television as Game of Thrones, was inspired by The Accursed Kings. Martin wrote an introduction for a reissued English translation.[1]


  1. ^ Milne, Ben (4 April 2014). "Game of Thrones: The cult French novel that inspired George RR Martin". Retrieved 6 April 2014. 

External links[edit]