• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: The Penguin Press (June 14, 2012)
Few figures have as strong a hold on the public’s imagination as Marie Antoinette. Centuries after her death, she remains a fascinating character, whose life, loves, and death have been the subject of numerous books and films. Francine du Plessix Gray’s The Queen’s Lover: A Novel tells Marie Antoinette’s story from a new perspective. Historical fiction of the highest order, The Queen’s Lover reveals the untold love affair between Swedish aristocrat Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette.
The story begins at a masquerade ball in Paris in 1774, when the dashing von Fersen meets the mesmerizing nineteen-year-old Dauphine, Marie Antoinette, wife of the shy, reclusive prince who will soon become Louis XVI. The electric encounter launches a lifelong romance that will span the course of the French Revolution. Drawing on her training as a historian and her deep feeling for the period, Francine du Plessix Gray creates a richly imagined world, interweaving Von Fersen’s unfinished memoir, actual historical correspondence, and the recollections of Van Fersen’s dear sister, Sophie. Gray’s light touch reveals these titanic historical figures as utterly human, and we see them here as frivolous, desirous, manipulative, and complicated as they were in life. The Queen’s Lover is a fresh vision of the French Revolution and the French royal family as told through the love story at its center.
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 Them: A Memoir of Parents, winner of the National Book Critics Circle award for best autobiography. She lives in Connecticut.
Francine’s Tour Stops
Monday, April 16th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Monday, April 16th: Twisting the Lens
Wednesday, April 18th: Life in Review
Monday, April 23rd: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, April 25th: Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, April 26th: Broken Teepee
Friday, April 27th: Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, May 1st: Amused By Books
Wednesday, May 2nd: Life is Short. Read Fast.
Saturday, May 5th: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Wednesday, May 9th: Historical Tapestry
Thursday, May 10th: A Bookish Affair
Monday, May 14th: Scandalous Women
Wednesday, May 16th: Enchanted by Josephine