Historical Fiction - France

The French Revolution is the setting for the musical film Les Miserables, which was one of the Oshkosh Public Library’s Monday Movie matinee. This period in French history has been featured in many wonderful novels. These are a few of them.  Monday Movie Matinee is the third Monday of the month.  July's movie will be the award winning Lincoln.

City of Darkness, City of Light: a novel by Marge Piercy
Independent Claire Lacombe tests her theory: if men can make things happen, perhaps women can too. . . . Manon Philipon finds she has a talent for politics-- as the ghostwriter of her husband's speeches. . . . And Pauline Léon knows that women must apply pressure or men will let them starve. While illuminating the lives of Robespierre, Danton, and Condorcet, Piercy also shows the reader women who change their world, live their ideals--and are prepared to die for them.

Madam Tussaud: a novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran
Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud  learned the secrets of wax sculpting working with her uncle in their famous   museum. From her model of Thomas Jefferson to her tableau of the royal family, Marie’s museum provides Parisians with the latest news.Her dream is to attract the attention of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI; their stamp of approval could catapult her and her museum to the fame and riches she desires.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Against the backdrop of the French Revolution, Dickens unfolds a story of drama, adventure, and courage featuring Charles Darnay, a man falsely accused of treason. He bears an uncanny resemblance to the dissolute, yet noble Sydney Carton., The novel culminates in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.
Bad Queen: rules and instructions for Marie Antoinette by Carolyn Meyer
Marie-Antoinette rails against the rules of etiquette that govern her life  as she tries to fulfill her  obligation, giving birth to the next king, but she finds diversion in spending money on clothing, parties, and gambling despite her family's warnings and the whispers of courtiers.

Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
Forced to marry an elderly baron instead of the man she loves, impoverished noblewoman Gabrielle de Montserrat is condemned to death at the height of the French Revolution and finds her life placed in the hands of her former lover.

Cassandra Lost by Joanna C. Scott
Scott weaves a tale based on the true story of one woman's odyssey from a prosperous Maryland farm to the devastation of revolution-era Paris and back again. When her father forbids her from marrying a charming Frenchman, Cassandra Owings elopes and sails for France. Her head is filled with romantic notions, so she is shocked by the privations she encounters in war-torn France. Joining forces with Jean Lafitte to smuggle other aristos out of the country, the couple  must eventually flee themselves.

Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
Paris, 1792, people are dying. Aristocrats are running from angry revolutionaries, and a brave Englishman is helping them. He and his friends are taking them to England. But who is this Englishman, this 'Scarlet Pimpernel'?

Artemis: a novel by Julian Stockwin
Story of young wig-maker Thomas Kydd, who was kidnapped and pressed into service in the old battle ship Duke Williams. In his brutal introduction to the sea, Kydd suffered much but learned to love life at sea.

The Glass-Blowers by Daphne Du Maurier
Sophie Duval reveals to her long-lost nephew the tragic story of a family of master craftsmen in eighteenth-century France. But the violence and terror of the French Revolution has the family struggling to survive. The Glass Blowers is basede on du Maurier's own family history.

A Dish Taken Cold by Anne Perry
Just days before the French Revolution, a young woman's baby dies while in the care of a friend and she learns the true meaning of revenge.

Vindication by Frances Sherwood
Mary, a gifted, restless young woman, leaves her troubled and uncomprehending family and journeys first to London and then to Paris during the French Revolution.

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson
The author takes the reader into the heart and mind of France’s queen: her love affair with the Swedish diplomat who risked his life to save her; her fears on the night the Parisian mob broke into the palace intent on murder; her attempted flight from France in disguise; her recapture and the months of captivity; her agony when her husband was guillotined and her young son was torn from her arms, never to be seen again.

July 2013