The Queen’s Lover

Francine du Plessix Gray. Penguin, $25.95 (292p) ISBN 978-1-59420-337-4
Du Plessix Gray, who was a finalist for a Pulitzer for 1998’s At Home with the Marquis de Sade: A Life, delivers a French Revolution–era tale of love, treachery, and death, reminiscent of Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther. This well-researched historical follows Count Axel von Fersen, a Swedish nobleman, as he meets a young Marie Antoinette, falls in love, is swept away to war in America, and returns to the Continent to discover the patrician world he once knew—and those he loved within it—facing imminent ruin. Structured as the memoirs of the late von Fersen, as compiled (with occasional supplementary chapters) by his sister Sophie, the drama of the story is mediated (and slightly diminished) by the form. However, the emotional tumult of the count’s strained affair with Marie Antoinette, as well as the cultural unrest in America, Sweden, and France, are nevertheless bold and moving. Fans of history—both true and fictional—will revel in du Plessix Gray’s vivid evocation of turbulent times, though readers accustomed to in-the-moment action may lament the narrative remove of the faux memoir. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit. (June 18)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 06/14/2012
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-57232-0
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-57167-5
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-14-312356-9
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