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Mistress of the Revolutionby Catherine Delors
Synopses & Reviews
A singular new voice in historical fiction. A time of decadence in a country embroiled in revolution. An unforgettably high-spirited heroine.
Set in opulent, decadent, turbulent revolutionary France, Mistress of the Revolution is the story of Gabrielle de Montserrat. An impoverished noblewoman blessed with fiery red hair and a mischievous demeanor, Gabrielle is only fifteen when she meets her true love, a commoner named Pierre-AndrĂ© Coffinhal. But her brother forbids their union, choosing for her instead an aging, wealthy baron.
Widowed and a mother while still a teen, Gabrielle arrives at the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette in time to be swept up in the emerging cataclysm. As a new order rises, Gabrielle finds her own lovely neck on the chopping blockÂ—and who should be selected to sit on the Revolutionary Tribunal but her first love, Pierre-AndrĂ©. . . .
Replete with historical detail, complex and realistic characters (several of whom actually existed), and a heroine who demandsÂ—and rewardsÂ—attention, Mistress of the Revolution is an unforgettable debut.
A stunning new talent in historical fiction makes her debut with a novel perfect for readers of In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant
"Against the backdrop of the leadup to the French Revolution, Delors's mostly successful debut follows the life of Gabrielle de Montserrat, a feisty young woman forced by her meddling brother to forsake her commoner true love and marry the Baron de Peyre, a wealthy, older man. The baron is abusive and cruel, but the short-lived marriage produces a daughter before the baron dies. A widowed Gabrielle travels to Paris and enters the heady world of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, where, with a sparse inheritance and the responsibility of a young daughter, Gabrielle becomes the mistress of Count de Villers. Delors shines in her portrayal of the late 18th-century French women's world (she has a rougher time with the men), though the amount of political-historical detail covered overshadows the tragic love story that develops once Gabrielle reunites with her first love, Pierre-Andr Coffinhal, who is now a lawyer. The appearance of historical figures sometimes comes off awkwardly (as when Gabrielle meets Thomas Jefferson or has a private audience with Robespierre), and the ending is marred by a too-convenient and seemingly tossed-off twist. Nevertheless, the author ably captures the vagaries of French politics during turbulent times and creates a world inhabited by nicely developed and sympathetic characters." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
View our feature on Catherine Delors' Mistress of the Revolution. An impoverished noblewoman, Gabrielle de Montserrat is only fifteen when she meets her first love, a commoner named Pierre-André Coffinhal. But her brother forbids their union, forcing her instead to marry an aging, wealthy cousin.
Widowed and a mother before the age of twenty, Gabrielle arrives at the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette in time to be swept up in the emerging turbulence—and to encounter the man she never expected to see again. Determined and independent, she strives to find her own freedom— as the Revolution takes an ever more violent turn.
About the Author
Catherine Delors, herself from a family of French aristocrats, was born and raised in France. A lawyer, she has practiced in the United States for ten years, and now divides her time between Paris and Los Angeles.
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