Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Reading about... The French Revolution

Today, France is celebrating the 221 years of La Prise de la Bastille (The Storming of the Bastille, also known as Bastille Day). The Bastille was a famous prison and fortress, a symbol of the despotic governement, so the storming is traditionally seen as the beginning of the Revolution. The 14 July 1789 became one of the most important events in history. This year, Historical Tapestry decided to celebrate this date sharing a small list of books set during this turbulent and captivating period.

- French Revolution series by Sally Gardner
  1. The Red Necklace
  2. The Silver Blade
- Scaramouche series by Rafael Sabatini
  1. Scaramouche
  2. Scaramouche the Kingmaker
- Sir Percy Blakeney series (Scarlet Pimpernel) by Baroness Orczy

  1. The Scarlet Pimpernel
  2. I Will Repay
  3. The Elusive Pimpernel
  4. Eldorado
  5. Lord Tony's Wife
  6. The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel
  7. The First Sir Percy
  8. The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel
  9. Pimpernel and Rosemary
  10. Sir Percy Hits Back
  11. Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel
  12. The Scarlet Pimpernel Looks At the World
  13. The Way of the Scarlet Pimpernel
  14. Sir Percy Leads the Band
  15. Mam'zelle Guillotine

- Annette Vallon by James Tipton

- A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel

- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

- The Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors

- The Knight of Maison Rouge by Alexandre Dumas

- The English Heiress by Roberta Gellis

- Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo

A few books about the Royal family (mostly Marie Antoinette):

- French Revolution Series by Jean Plaidy
  1. Louis the Well Beloved
  2. The Road to Compiegne 
  3. Flaunting, Extravagant Queen

- The Fatal Friendship: Marie Antoinette, Count Fersen and the Flight to Varennes by Stanley Loomis

- Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman by Stefan Zweig

- To the Scaffold: The Life of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson

- Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt

- Trianon: A Novel of Royal France by Elena Maria Vidal

- Marie-Therese, Child of Terror: The Fate of Marie Antoinette's Daughter by Susan Nagel

- Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund
If you have any other recommendations, don't hesitate to share. Happy Bastille Day!


  1. Dumas also wrote six books set prior to Maison Rouge,

    Joseph Balsamo
    Memoirs of a Physician
    The Queen's Necklace
    Taking the Bastille
    The Countess du Charny

    I strongly urge readers not to buy the newer editions (bad translations) but hunt down the early 1900's Collier editions.

    I've closed the window on the OP, but there's also Daphne Du Maurier's The Glass Blowers.

  2. I didn't know about The Glass Blowers but I'm going to add it to my wishlist right away. Thanks, Misfit!

  3. I think you'll like it. About her forebears before they came to England and you'll also find out where the Du Maurier name came from.

    PS, that is FIVE books prior to Maison Rouge. Still early here :)

  4. Don't forget the Josephine Bonaparte trilogy by Sandra Gulland