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 Novels with the meat and potatoes of the revolution? 
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Marquis/Marquise
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Post Novels with the meat and potatoes of the revolution?
Well, as I think I've made all-too-apparent, my interest in Marie Antoinette is mostly a branch from my interest in the French Revolution in general. So I was wondering what novel delves the most into Marie Antoinette's trials (the literal one and the figurative ones) throughout the turbulent revolt? Any suggestions with that scope in mind?

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Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:15 am
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Post Re: Novels with the meat and potatoes of the revolution?
I don't like historical novels on this period. The truth is hard enough to ascertain as it is.

I found the transcripts of the trial, but that is in old French and dates from 1798. It reads like a novel! Better!

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Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:59 am
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Post Re: Novels with the meat and potatoes of the revolution?
One of the novel discussed here was "Mistress of the Revolution".

I do not like them either.

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Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:04 am
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Post Re: Novels with the meat and potatoes of the revolution?
They are almost always flowery and fairly useless.

There's nothing flowery about the child abuse of the Dauphin or the September massacres. Unless one wants to entwine facts like sporting Madame de Lamballe's pubis as a moustache like a trophy into a novel.....

Its more like 'Silence of the Lambs".

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Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:17 am
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Post Re: Novels with the meat and potatoes of the revolution?
Ah, that's disappointing to hear. I actually suspected that most of them would elaborate more on the flowery high living of Versailles than the inevitable downfall (Sophia Coppell's movie, for instance, and Rose of Versailles...Which are both admittedly not novels, but my point somewhat stands). I read a lot of nonfiction stuff, so I'm not really looking for facts in the novels I read, incidentally. As long as it's an entertaining read I won't complain. Mistress of the Revolution is the one, then? Alright. I guess I'll give it a whirl. Thanks!


EDIT: Though from the amazon description, unless I found a different book, Mistress of the Revolution appears to be about a lady of the court - and the court just happens to be Marie Antoinette's. Is Marie a main character at least? For that matter, no novel explores Antoinette's tragic downfall with Marie as the protagonist? My word. :shock:

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Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:23 am
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Post Re: Novels with the meat and potatoes of the revolution?
I have read Mistress of the Revolution. MA is only mentioned in passing, and in none too flattering terms. It was meant to be written from the perspective of the people of that era, who were reading about the evils of Antoinette for some time. I guess I wonder, if I lived in those times, even as an aristocrat, would I feel the same? I wouldn't know the true Marie Antoinette like we do now, with the benefit of hindsight.

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:36 am
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Post Re: Novels with the meat and potatoes of the revolution?
There is a young adult novel called "Revolution" by Jennifer Donnelly, which is about a young woman who while living with her historian father in Paris stumbles across the diary of a teenage girl who was a lady in waiting to Marie Antoinette (fictional, of course). I read it a few years ago and it's actually what inspired me to start researching the French Revolution. If I can remember correctly, it got to the core of the ugly side of the Revolution; Marie Antoinette was mostly portrayed in a sympathetic light; and it talks a good deal about the heart of Louis XVII. Despite the fact it's mainly aimed for teenagers, it's a very good book. I recommend it for sure!


Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:46 pm
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Post Re: Novels with the meat and potatoes of the revolution?
Long time no post for me... :wink:
Here's mine: The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Bradley.
It's set on the eve of the French Revolution. Although the story ends on a positive note for Isabelle and her mother not so for Therese. It's for younger children but I enjoyed it.


Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:46 am
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