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The Lost King of France: A True Story of…
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The Lost King of France: A True Story of Revolution, Revenge, and DNA

by Deborah Cadbury

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271741,869 (4.01)17
  1. 10
    The Black Tower by Louis Bayard (TheoClarke)
    TheoClarke: Deborah Cadbury's book was a key reference for Louis Bayard when writing his novel.
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A gift from a fellow LTer this book was sent to me as she knew I was, and remain, a francophile. I am not an avid historian nor am I especially knowledgeable with regards to 18th century France. However this book captivated me and was hard to put down. At times reading rather like a detective story whilst at others social history this was a fascinating account of the life and troubled times of Louis XVI and his family. From the 18th century the reader is led on a journey to the present day when the mystery of the Dauphin or the prince in the tower is to some extent resolved through scientific avenues.
Deborah Cadbury has thoroughly researched this whole story and has compiled copious notes on her sources for each chapter. Yet she writes without pretence or academic superiority and so the story is accessible and the reader is drawn into the life and times of the ill fated son of Louis XVI. Once again the reader is witness to man's inhumanity to man as he lays claim to wealth and power - this time that inhumanity is directed at a young boy and his sister amongst others yet the author does not dwell ghoulishly upon these aspects of the period. Rather the reader is left to ponder the violence of the period and reflect upon the motivation that drove men to such barbarous acts. Overall an excellent and highly recommended read. ( )
  juliette07 | Aug 2, 2010 |
I read The Lost King of France: A True Story of Revolution, Revenge, and DNA when it first came out and to this day, I'm still haunted by details of Louis-Charles, Duc de Normandie's tragic life. Never have I read a more compelling, and heart wrenching part of history. It's one of those books you never forget. I had a hard time putting this engrossing account of Louis-Charles mysterious life and death, down. Even though I knew the results of the findings of the DNA in advance, Deborah Cadbury's absorbing investigated work and well documented historical account kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. This tragic tale of Louis-Charles will stay with me for a long, long time. ( )
3 vote CindyBytes | Jul 11, 2009 |
This book wasn't what I expected, really. I guess I was focused on the subtitle - "How DNA solved the mystery of the murdered son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette." However, that was only about the last 1/4 of the book. The first part was all about the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.

Wow, some of this was tough to read. The details of what the Royal family endured were horrific. Just reading about the crazy mobs and their bloodlust was disgusting. A very sad insight into human nature - just as the king was trying to make things more just and fair for the masses, they arrest him.

I had no idea of what the little prince suffered and as a mother, I found it completely despicable that anyone would treat a child, any child, in just a cruel and inhuman way. I know that abuse happens, of course, but to know that so many people knew what was going on and none of them did anything, that is really disturbing.

The last part was interesting though. I can recommend it, but it really is only in part about science. Most of it is history, and very sad history at that. ( )
1 vote cmbohn | Jun 10, 2009 |
I read this book several years ago, but I had to add it because I couldn't put it down! The book was a great combination of a story of history and then a current-day detective novel. ( )
  leba6 | Feb 1, 2009 |
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Vanaf het portret van Alexandre Kucharski kijkt Louis-Charles, hertog van Normandië, vol zelfvertrouwen de wereld in met grote blauwe ogen, gezet in een door blond haar omrand, gevoelig gezicht: de volmaakte sprookjesprins.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312320299, Paperback)

Louis-Charles, Duc de Normandie, enjoyed a charmed early childhood in the gilded palace of Versailles. At the age of four, he became the dauphin, heir to the most powerful throne in Europe. Yet within five years he was to lose everything. Drawn into the horror of the French Revolution, his family was incarcerated and their fate thrust into the hands of the revolutionaries who wished to destroy the monarchy.

In 1793, when Marie Antoinette was beheaded at the guillotine, she left her adored eight-year-old son imprisoned in the Temple Tower. Far from inheriting a throne, the orphaned boy-king had to endure the hostility and abuse of a nation. Two years later, the revolutionary leaders declared Louis XVII dead. No grave was dug, no monument built to mark his passing.

Immediately, rumors spread that the prince had, in fact, escaped from prison and was still alive. Others believed that he had been murdered, his heart cut out and preserved as a relic. As with the tragedies of England's princes in the Tower and the Romanov archduchess Anastasia, countless "brothers" soon approached Louis-Charles's older sister, Marie-Therese, who survived the revolution. They claimed not only the dauphin's name, but also his inheritance. Several "princes" were plausible, but which, if any, was the real heir to the French throne?

The Lost King of France is a moving and dramatic tale that interweaves a pivotal moment in France's history with a compelling detective story that involves pretenders to the crown, royalist plots and palace intrigue, bizarre legal battles, and modern science. The quest for the truth continued into the twenty-first century, when, thanks to DNA testing, the strange odyssey of a stolen heart found within the royal tombs brought an exciting conclusion to the two-hundred-year-old mystery of the lost king of France.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Louis-Charles, duc de Normandie, enjoyed a charmed early childhood in the gilded palace of Versailles. At the age of four, he became the dauphin, heir to the most powerful throne in Europe. Yet within five years he was to lose everything. Drawn into the horror of the French Revolution, his family was incarcerated and their fate thrust into the hands of the revolutionaries who wished to destroy the monarchy." "The Lost King of France is a dramatic tale that interweaves a pivotal moment in France's history with a compelling detective story that involves pretenders to the crown, royalist plots and palace intrigue, bizarre legal battles, and modern science. The quest for the truth continued into the twenty-first century, when, thanks to DNA testing, the strange odyssey of a stolen heart found within the royal tombs brought an exciting conclusion to the two-hundred-year-old mystery of the lost king of France."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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