The Queen's Lover by Francine Du Plessix Gray
A Novel

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One of the problems haunting the historical novel is the uncertainty that ensues from merging fact and fiction. How can the reader tell truth from invention?
-NY Times

Synopsis

A “spellbinding” and “deeply intelligent” historical novel about Marie Antoinette on the eve of the French Revolution (The Washington Post )

Through the untold love story between Marie Antoinette and Swedish aristocrat Axel von Fersen, acclaimed author Francine du Plessix Gray weaves history with romance in a captivating novel that also offers a fresh vision of the French Revolution.

Paris, 1774. The dashing nobleman meets nineteen-year-old Marie Antoinette at a masquerade ball. As their relationship deepens at Versailles, Fersen discovers the court’s secrets, even the startling erotic details of Marie Antoinette’s marriage. But this intimacy is disrupted when he leaves to join the American Revolution. When he returns in 1783, he finds France on the brink of disintegration. After the Revolution of 1789, the royal family is moved to the Tuileries and suffers increasingly harsh captivity. After a failed attempt to liberate them, Fersen goes home to Sweden where he soon meets his own tragic end: his fate is symbolic of the violent pace with which of the eighteenth century’s events transformed European culture.
 

About Francine Du Plessix Gray

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FRANCINE DU PLESSIX GRAY has been a regular contributor to The New Yorker and is the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction, including Simone Weil, At Home with the Marquis de Sade: A Life, Rage and Fire, Lovers and Tyrants, and Soviet Women. She is most recently the author of the memoir Them: A Memoir of Parents. She lives in Connecticut.
 
Published June 14, 2012 by Penguin Books. 304 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Queen's Lover
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Ruth Scurr on Jul 05 2012

One of the problems haunting the historical novel is the uncertainty that ensues from merging fact and fiction. How can the reader tell truth from invention?

Read Full Review of The Queen's Lover: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by MOIRA HODGSON on Jun 15 2012

Ms. Gray...conjures up a world she knows well, in riveting detail.

Read Full Review of The Queen's Lover: A Novel | See more reviews from WSJ online

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Kai Maristed on Jul 18 2012

One can almost hear the two high-born lovers, both sacrificed on the altar of revolution, call back and forth to each other through time.

Read Full Review of The Queen's Lover: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times

Reader Rating for The Queen's Lover
63%

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