I especiallly love this period of French history and with Louis XIV as my absolute favourite king, it was easy for me to dive head first into Before Versailles. First of all let me say that the research in this book must have been of the most meticulous! The juicy parts and descriptions that entail mystery and kept me fascinated were impeccable in accuracy. I loved reading about palace life and the very details of day to day- the glamour, the splendour of this time- truly sweeps you off your feet. Koen is master at doing this in Before Versailles.
Having read loads of history on this fabulous king, I must say that such a detailed look at the period and events in his life (taking place over only a few months!)- was practically like having been there myself-true indulgence! So much detail (history buffs and lovers of all that is French will be in heaven:)
There is so much to this book; an iron-masked boy; mystery, intrigue and somewhat of a love triangle. About that- there’s just something I had a little trouble with; Henriette’s character portrayal. Let’s just say that I’m more used to reading about her kindness and some frivolity- yes of course...but for the most part she is the darling of this period. It's really her husband that history rather portrays as being the all-around awful one with a deceiving and warped mind along with kinky male preferences. So I had some adjusting to do when it came to reading of Henriette as a little on the scandalous side. But since the book is so well researched, I will attribute this all-time party girl portrayal on the fact that the story takes place in such a brief time span. I should also mention that there were most tender and very touching moments where I got teary more than once..
So, not only is this book an absolute extravaganza into French history in all of its glory, the other thing that is for sure; Before Versailles has made me fall in love with Louis XIV even more! Awhile back I read Koen’s: Dark Angels and was absolutely enthralled by it- Well- apparently Before Versailles is its prequel. So, if you can, try to read both of these (I’m going to reread Dark Angels again for sure!) Talk about a mega dose of delicious Louis XIV.
Giveaway of this perfect French historical!!
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For anyone interested in this notorious artist's life- you must read Michelle Moran's book: Madame Tussaud! If you love history (French Revolution period) AND art, this book is for you. Madame Tussaud reproduced figures such as Marie Antoinette, King Louis XVI, Du Barry...
Check out my history blog for a review of this book P L U S a Fantastic Giveaway of a Signed Copy AND Marie Antoinette Cupcake earrings..
Madame Tussaud, by Michelle Moran is a treasure of a book. For anyone interested in the behind the scenes look at the Revolution, this is the book to read! What better insight than sitting right in Marie Grosholtz (Madame Tussaud’s maiden name), uncle’s salon? So much plotting and up-to-the minute news took place here! Can you imagine that the ultimate tyrant Robespierre himself, as well as Marat and the like would get together right in her salon and discuss how to oust the king? Madame Tussaud is the juiciest piece of French Revolution historical I’ve read so far.
Leave it to the extremely talented Michelle Moran to create a delicious story by slicing a piece of history and serving it up for us to gobble up. Moran is brilliant (and if you've read Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen and Cleopatra- you just know what I'm talking about!). Nothing is missing in this history-filled page turner. We read about Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, her children, the king’s sister, Elizabeth, Rose Bertin and even Josephine (still known as Rose at the time) is part of this fantastic book! There are so many historical figures that appear- and not just as passer-bys- actual scenes that actually happened are vividly portrayed.
And of course Marie’s wax trade is at the forefront of this novel. Not only was Tussaud an expert in her field- a true artist- she also gave up alot for her career and family’s safety. There were times while reading where I could not fathom her courage amidst the cruelty and gruesome conditions...imagine the naturalness and beauty of an artist creating from the living- and then try to imagine Tussaud creating from death and horror (I can’t explain..you’ll have to read the book!). And this was never by choice. Poor Marie!
I was completely enveloped in this book. Written almost like a memoir, I felt every moment as though I were there. Excellent writing that keeps you enthralled until the very end. If you would love to know more about this exciting and indeed revolutionary period- Get Madame Tussaud, by Michelle Moran- You won’t regret it! Loved it!
And now for this SPECTACULAR INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY:
A signed hardcover copy of MADAME TUSSAUD as well as a pair of Marie Antoinette cupcake earrings!!!!
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Winner will be Announced on July 20th
Thank you Michelle Moran!!! And Good Luck to ALL!!