Mistress of the Revolution
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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-André 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 block—and who should be selected to sit on the Revolutionary Tribunal but her first love, Pierre-André. . . .
Replete with historical detail, complex and realistic characters (several of whom actually existed), and a heroine who demands—and rewards—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
CATHERINE DELORS, herself from a family of French aristocrats, wa 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. Visit www.catherinedelors.com.
- In Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle often makes difficult decisions (when she becomes Villiers's mistress, when she accepts the position of lady-in-waiting, when she goes to work at the Theâtre.) In her place, would you have chosen other options?
- Gabrielle is, for all intents and purposes, abandoned at birth by her mother. How does she cope with it?
- Do you think Gabrielle is a good mother? How does her relationship with her daughter evolve throughout the book?
- Do you see Gabrielle's brother, the Marquis de Montserrat, as a villain, or do you feel some sympathy for him?
- Is Gabrielle passive? Does she accept the limits imposed on women of her class and time, or does she strive to forge her own path?
- When Gabrielle arrives in Paris as a widow at the age of seventeen, she is not reunited with her former love. Why not?
- Is the portrait of Queen Marie-Antoinette in Mistress of the Revolution different from what you read in other books or saw in films?
- How are the stark realities of the Terror foreshadowed in the luxurious lifestyle of the aristocracy before the Revolution?
- How does Gabrielle's attitude towards religion in general, and her own faith, evolve throughout the novel?
- Mistress of the Revolution begins as a memoir. How and why does the tone and purpose of Gabrielle's narrative evolve?
- Did Mistress of the Revolution change your image of the French Revolution? If yes, how so?
- Did the conclusion of the novel surprise you? Is it a "happy ending"?