Marie Antoinette Online Forum
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New novel: Mistress of the Revolution
http://forum.marie-antoinette.org/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1128
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Author:  Christophe [ Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

Gone for a day, and look at what I miss!

Sorry Lilly and Ms. Delors, but I stand by my review. While of course I understand the difference between history and fiction, the purpose of this thread was to discuss our opinions of this novel. I gave mine within a few hours of having finished reading it. Given that I am an unwavering admirer of the Queen, and take a rather dim view of the Revolution and its perpetrators, I came away from Mistress considerably irritated.

My general impression of the novel is that M.A. is consistently rendered in a negative way that plays to the common misconceptions of her. The King is treated little better. Madame de Polignac (contemporary accounts describe her as one of the great beauties of the day) is described as having a flat nose, receding chin, and the profile of a "rabbit."

Some particularly horrible events of the Revolution (the March on Versailles, the August 10th insurrection, the September massacres, the trial of M.A.) are all portrayed with a decisively pro-Revolutionary slant that is not in keeping with any historical account with which I am familiar.
Pages 134 & 251 of Mistress allude to a relationship between Lauzun and M.A., presented in the form of conversation between characters.

The Customs Wall surrounding Paris did indeed impose a tax on many items---salt, wine, chocolate, oysters and other "luxuries," the burden of which fell largely on the prosperous middle and upper classes (the poor could not have afforded these things even without a tax). But there was not a tax on bread or grain entering Paris, on which the poor depended for sustenance.

Overall, the theme of this fiction is that the Ancien Regime was bad, the Revolution was good, M.A. was an arrogant spendthrift, and Louis was a fat dullard. Not a book for fans of the Queen, but don't take my word for it; read it and see for yourself.

(I'll be happy to mail my copy to anyone who wants it.)

Author:  baron de batz [ Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

I'll send you my address by PM! :lol:

Author:  Délicate fleur [ Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

baron de batz wrote:
Délicate Fleur wrote:

Bien dit, mon chère Baron!

May I just point out, dear Délicate Fleur, that you have made me androgynous. "Mon cher Baron".....would be preferable. :wink:

:oops:

Author:  baron de batz [ Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

Coming back to this novel and Christophe's comments, I hope that Ms Delors will not be discouraged by this about coming on this forum! It is nice to have people here who have taken the time to write books on the subject, whether we agree with them or not, or find them good. As I say I can't comment, though it seems I'm unlikely to really like it if its' that pro-revolution! It is also very important on a site to have people with different views and that feeds discussion. So please stick around and know you're more than welcome here. As you can see some of us know enough about the subject to be able to at least discuss in an open and amicable fashion.

Author:  Therese [ Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

Hi, everybody. And welcome, Madame Delors! What a privilege to have you here! I have not been around in awhile but since I am the one who started this thread I thought I should say something. The novel is not pro-Revolution, my dear friends. Yes, it is indeed very much from the point of view of the young heroine, who does not always understand everything going on around her. Gabrielle does not have all the facts. She misjudges the King and Queen. She discovers, when it is too late, the dark side of the Revolution as well as the dark side of the man who is her lover. She learns the hard way. Her own sister is a nun who is brutally killed by the Revolutionaries.Gabrielle barely escapes from France with her life. By the end of the book, it is clear that the Revolution has devoured its own children. At least that's what I got from it. I love the Queen but it helped me to understand how false impressions of her began which led so many people to hate her.

But everyone can't like everything. If Christophe did not enjoy the book, then that is his right. :wink: And many people just do not like novels. I do not like that many popular historical fiction novels myself; I mostly read biographies. (Although I must say, some of the popular bios of Marie-Antoinette are no better than novels.) I did like Mistress of the Revolution because it was well-written and showed a great deal of research. But I understood that it was all from a naive young girl's point of view, who believed some of the propaganda and did not have all the facts, to her own great loss. And the people of France lost everything, too. That was all made clear to me by the novel.

Author:  baron de batz [ Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

Well these have been a couple of momentous days for this sometimes sleepy forum! Ms Delors joins us and Thérèse returns! Welcome back Thérèse! I missed sparring with you! :)

Author:  Therese [ Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

baron de batz wrote:
Well these have been a couple of momentous days for this sometimes sleepy forum! Ms Delors joins us and Thérèse returns! Welcome back Thérèse! I missed sparring with you! :)


Merci, M. le baron! :P

Author:  Délicate fleur [ Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

Yes, we do miss you and Pim and Chou Charles! I suppose they stay on the French forum these days. :cry:

Author:  Therese [ Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

Délicate fleur wrote:
Yes, we do miss you and Pim and Chou Charles! I suppose they stay on the French forum these days. :cry:


Thanks, sweetie. Yes, they are busy defending the Queen's honor to the French-speaking world.

Author:  Délicate fleur [ Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

Une noble cause!

Author:  baron de batz [ Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

Yes the French forum has become a great success with very varied topics and visually exciting with many people posting photos of places etc

Author:  Lilly [ Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

Christophe wrote:
Sorry Lilly and Ms. Delors, but I stand by my review. While of course I understand the difference between history and fiction, the purpose of this thread was to discuss our opinions of this novel. I gave mine within a few hours of having finished reading it. Given that I am an unwavering admirer of the Queen, and take a rather dim view of the Revolution and its perpetrators, I came away from Mistress considerably irritated.

It's ok to see things differently on this subject - it gave us a good conversation! I strictly read only factual history - and sometimes trying to discipher the truth written by irresponsible historians can be challenging! Although as I said, I did not read the book - I do imagine that like you, I would have come away irritated - as it is truth that I pursue.

Author:  Lilly [ Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

Baron - the French site is lovely with all the pictures, I can only hope to learn the language so that I might read some of the posts!

Author:  Anouk [ Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

I also visit the French Site. It is amazingly good forum, too.

Author:  baron de batz [ Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New novel: Mistress of the Revolution

There are very few photos posted on this site, and that's perhaps because its' complicated or cumbersome to do so? Can someone remind me of the procedure? I know that if I had to shrink them first I wouldn't manage.

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