Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I should be cleaning the kitchen, but instead I'm going to share this wonderful book. I just finished it last night.
Sometimes I find historical, non-fiction books a bit dry, but that was not the case this time. The story of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution is incredible. I had heard those names before, but I was unaware of the story of their lives. Somehow I also totally missed that there was a huge 200 year old mystery about the fate of their 8 year old son who had been kept prisoner in a tower along with them. Their daughter was also prisoner but was released several years later. The boy died in captivity. However, many believed he had escaped and his death was a lie. This was a big deal because he would have been the rightful heir to the throne.
Many had tried to solve the mystery, but only in more recent times was it even possible thanks to DNA testing. I won't tell you what the testing revealed...I don't want to spoil the ending!
The first 4/5ths of the book is a fast paced account of what happened to the royal family. It starts with the marriage of Marie Antoinette to the future King, continues through unrest and revolution, the beheading of the King and Queen, and the treatment of the children who were still prisoners after their parents' deaths.
The last part of the book talks about how many came forward claiming to be the "Lost Prince" and many people believed the boy didn't really die as a prisoner. That part is equally interesting. The book wraps up with the findings of the research team that did DNA testing.
This was a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.
Added bonus: I feel smarter after reading it. I would rather read a book like that then sit through a boring history class any day.
By the way, my interest in France has been piqued because Cody and I are going there this summer for our 15th anniversary. I'm trying to learn some French and also learn a little more about the country before our trip. Interestingly, we don't plan to hit Paris at all while there. Instead, we will be focused on the Southwest corner enjoying the Dordogne River Valley and Bordeaux.