Posts Tagged ‘books’

Queen s Necklace Mossiker

The Queen’s Necklace, by Frances Mossiker

Before reading this book, I thought I had a fairly good knowledge of the infamous Affair of the Necklace. Here goes the story: the Cardinal Louis de Rohan, Grand Almoner of France, Prince of the House of Rohan, was one of the most prominent courtiers in Versailles. As Grand Almoner, he was in charge of […]



Bayard Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong

Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong, by Pierre Bayard

First I must thank Arnie Perlstein, fellow member of Eighteenth Century Worlds, for bringing to my attention this essay, subtitled Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles, by Pierre Bayard (no relation to Louis Bayard.) I became all the more interested that the plot of The Hound of the Baskervilles is eerily similar […]



Doomed Queens Kris Waldherr

An interview of Kris Waldherr, author of Doomed Queens

Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di, is Kris Waldherr’s new book. Lavishly illustrated by the author herself, it contains brief biographies (two or three pages per Queen) from all eras and continents. While the format precludes any in-depth study of any of the characters reviewed, I found the compilation […]



Spring Outing of the Tang Court

The Judge Dee Mysteries, and Robert van Gulik

Robert Hans van Gulik (1910-1967), orientalist, diplomat and expert gukin player, was also a historical novelist. A native Dutchman, he had been raised in Indonesia and schooled as a child in the Mandarin language. He completed his studies in the Netherlands, where he obtained a doctorate in Asian studies. He joined the Dutch foreign service […]



The Hemingses of Monticello, by Annette Gordon-Reed

I had heard of this book through Elena at Tea at Trianon and wanted to order it, when I happened upon a piece by the author in The Root, titled Sally Hemings and me. Professor Gordon-Reed, who teaches law at New York Law School and history at Rutgers University, writes: It was particularly fascinating to […]



Mistress of the Sun Sandra Gulland

An interview of Sandra Gulland, author of Mistress of the Sun

Sandra also wrote the best-selling Josephine B. trilogy. It is aprivilege to have her answer a few questions for the readers of Versailles and more. Enjoy! ************************************* – We had a few great discussions about book covers on this blog, and I couldn’t help noticing the differences between the US and Canadian covers of Mistress […]



Salammbo Alphonse Mucha

Is it necessary for an author to have visited the settings of her novels?

It was at Megara, a suburb of Carthage, in the gardens of Hamilcar… The story has it that Flaubert, as soon as he had written the opening words to his historical novel Salammbô, threw down his pen in frustration and exclaimed “I have to go there!” What is sure is that he traveled to Carthage, […]



Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire Reynolds

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: literature and politics

Georgiana writes – anonymously – a novel titled The Sylph. It depicts the depraved mores of the British aristocracy from an insider’s point of view. For the contemporaries the identity of the author is an open secret. The Sylph is an instant commercial success and goes through four print runs. Amanda Foreman herself does not […]



The Duchess, by Amanda Foreman: first impressions

I want to finish Amanda Foreman‘s biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, before watching the upcoming film starring Keira Knightley. I will post a series of mini-reviews on the book as I read it. First I should note that Ms. Foreman shines in her depiction of the ton, a French word that designates the world […]



An interview of Louis Bayard, author of The Black Tower

Louis Bayard is the author of Mr. Timothy, a New York Times Notable Book, and the national best-seller The Pale Blue Eye. Now his third novel, The Black Tower, also a historical thriller, has just been released to great critical acclaim. Louis was kind enough to stop by toanswer a few questions. – Vidocq, the […]