Teaser Tuesday: From Versailles to the French Revolution

9 Mar

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I like to dip into the books I’m planning to read, just for a glimpse of the contents.  (Sometimes I overdip and spoil myself…)  So this week’s teasers are from two books recently added to my TBR pile and mentioned in a recent post, F is for Fortune-Telling.  The first one is Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors:

The image on the cover is a detail from The Stolen Kiss by Fragonard.  Catherine has posted about the process of choosing this cover image and about the final choice of cover image for her forthcoming novel For the King (released July 2010).

I’m fascinated by the process of creating book covers and I have to say they have an undue influence on me!  But not just the cover.  If I like the size and the paper and the print, I am more likely to buy the book.

Mistress of the Revolution is the fictional memoir of a French noblewoman, Gabrielle de Montserrat, who tells the story of her journey from the French provinces to the court of Versailles and Paris in the Revolution.

Gabrielle is fictional, but a woman whose life followed a similar pattern is Rose de Beauharnais, better known to history as the Empress Josephine. The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., the first volume in Sandra Gulland’s Josephine B. trilogy, traces her life through her adolescence in Martinique, her unhappy marriage to a French nobleman, the dangers of the French Revolution and then her involvement with Napoleon.

Since both these novels cover a similar time period, I thought it would be fun to have one pre-revolutionary and one revolutionary teaser.  First the pre-revolutionary teaser, which is from Mistress of the Revolution:

The next morning, the Duchess and I rose later than usual and chatted about the opera over a breakfast of tea and croissants.  That delicacy had been introduced to France by the Queen upon her arrival from Vienna.  We had settled with our reading in the drawing room when the Count de Villers was announced by one of the footmen.  After the usual exchange of bows, curtseys and compliments, the conversation turned to one of the Duchess’s acquaintances.

Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors

A few years later, Joséphine finds life in Paris is rather different!

This morning I went to my dressmaker on the Rue Saint-Honoré.  It was with a sinking heart that I saw a cart approaching, three men and a woman on their way to the guillotine, one of the men a youth, really, quite young and weeping, another man doing his best to console him.  Five boys were following behind the cart, dancing the farandole.

The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Joséphine B., by Sandra Gulland

8 Responses to “Teaser Tuesday: From Versailles to the French Revolution”

  1. Marg March 9, 2010 at 08:24 #

    Both of these books are enjoyable reads! Hope you like them both!

    I am not featuring HF this week for my teaser which is here

  2. Misfit March 9, 2010 at 12:19 #

    Stay tuned, I have my hands on a really crappy looking romance set during the Wars of the Roses. Might not have something until tomorrow.

  3. The Literary Omnivore March 9, 2010 at 13:35 #

    Revolutionary France- man, what a setting. The contrast between the two teasers is really something.

    My teaser is not as epic, but just as sad.

  4. Catherine Delors March 9, 2010 at 17:27 #

    Yes, the teasers couldn’t be more different. Yet, Miss Moppet, if you had delved later into the story, you might have found something very similar to Josephine B…
    This is one of the things that fascinated me while writing Mistress: the contrast between “la douceur de vivre” and the non-sweetness of the Revolution.
    And thanks for featuring Mistress!

  5. laurelrainsnow March 9, 2010 at 17:57 #

    Oh, I love covers, too! Which is why it took me numerous e-mail exchanges with the publisher to come up with my book covers!

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  6. hampshireflyer March 9, 2010 at 19:20 #

    Those do work well together – nice! :)

    Mine’s at http://hampshireflyer.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/teaser-tuesday-6/

  7. Lorin March 9, 2010 at 22:39 #

    Interesting to contrast those two teasers. Thanks for sharing.

    Here’s my teaser at arch thinking.

  8. Mel u March 13, 2010 at 03:12 #

    Both of these books sound very interesting-great post-I found your blog via the book blog hop and am now a follower

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