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Fighting to reclaim the French crown for the Bourbons, the duchesse de Berry faces betrayal at the hands of one of her closest advisors in this dramatic history of power and revolution. The year was 1832 and the French royal family was in exile, driven out by yet another revolution. From a drafty Scottish castle, the duchesse de Berry -- the mother of the eleven-year-old h Fighting to reclaim the French crown for the Bourbons, the duchesse de Berry faces betrayal at the hands of one of her closest advisors in this dramatic history of power and revolution. The year was 1832 and the French royal family was in exile, driven out by yet another revolution. From a drafty Scottish castle, the duchesse de Berry -- the mother of the eleven-year-old heir to the throne -- hatched a plot to restore the Bourbon dynasty. For months, she commanded a guerilla army and evaded capture by disguising herself as a man. But soon she was betrayed by her trusted advisor, Simon Deutz, the son of France's Chief Rabbi. The betrayal became a cause célèbre for Bourbon loyalists and ignited a firestorm of hate against France's Jews. By blaming an entire people for the actions of a single man, the duchess's supporters set the terms for the century of antisemitism that followed. Brimming with intrigue and lush detail, The Betrayal of the Duchess is the riveting story of a high-spirited woman, the charming but volatile young man who double-crossed her, and the birth of one of the modern world's most deadly forms of hatred.


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Fighting to reclaim the French crown for the Bourbons, the duchesse de Berry faces betrayal at the hands of one of her closest advisors in this dramatic history of power and revolution. The year was 1832 and the French royal family was in exile, driven out by yet another revolution. From a drafty Scottish castle, the duchesse de Berry -- the mother of the eleven-year-old h Fighting to reclaim the French crown for the Bourbons, the duchesse de Berry faces betrayal at the hands of one of her closest advisors in this dramatic history of power and revolution. The year was 1832 and the French royal family was in exile, driven out by yet another revolution. From a drafty Scottish castle, the duchesse de Berry -- the mother of the eleven-year-old heir to the throne -- hatched a plot to restore the Bourbon dynasty. For months, she commanded a guerilla army and evaded capture by disguising herself as a man. But soon she was betrayed by her trusted advisor, Simon Deutz, the son of France's Chief Rabbi. The betrayal became a cause célèbre for Bourbon loyalists and ignited a firestorm of hate against France's Jews. By blaming an entire people for the actions of a single man, the duchess's supporters set the terms for the century of antisemitism that followed. Brimming with intrigue and lush detail, The Betrayal of the Duchess is the riveting story of a high-spirited woman, the charming but volatile young man who double-crossed her, and the birth of one of the modern world's most deadly forms of hatred.

30 review for The Betrayal of the Duchess: The Scandal That Unmade the Bourbon Monarchy and Made France Modern

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laura Narbutaite Marbach

    My type of beach read - a historical biography, with a strong female heroine and most of the action set in France. Who needs chick flicks when you have the histories of European monarchies. This contains everything one can ask for - from parrots suspected of delivering secret messages, to Vatican conveniently backdating marriage certificates. On a serious note, big part of the book is dedicated to discussing the story’s implications on antisemitism in France and wider Europe.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! I'll be honest. I've never heard of this era of history whatsoever. Then again, this isn't technically the era of French history that personally interests me. That title really grabbed me and intrigued me. There's a ton of good information in this book about the events. The first part is more about the duchess, the second part about Deutz (the betrayer). From there, it unwinds the story. It's a pretty quick book and, at times, was I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! I'll be honest. I've never heard of this era of history whatsoever. Then again, this isn't technically the era of French history that personally interests me. That title really grabbed me and intrigued me. There's a ton of good information in this book about the events. The first part is more about the duchess, the second part about Deutz (the betrayer). From there, it unwinds the story. It's a pretty quick book and, at times, was a little dense to read. However, it was still a very interesting read and it makes me want to pick up more books to find out a little more about Duchesse de Berry.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tina long

    Thank you to Basic Books and #netgalley for the advanced copy for my honest review. This book comes out today, April 14, 2020! Synopsis: from @goodreads: The year was 1832 and the French royal family was in exile, driven out by yet another revolution. From a drafty Scottish castle, the duchesse de Berry -- the mother of the eleven-year-old heir to the throne -- hatched a plot to restore the Bourbon dynasty. For months, she commanded a guerilla army and evaded capture by disguising herself as a ma Thank you to Basic Books and #netgalley for the advanced copy for my honest review. This book comes out today, April 14, 2020! Synopsis: from @goodreads: The year was 1832 and the French royal family was in exile, driven out by yet another revolution. From a drafty Scottish castle, the duchesse de Berry -- the mother of the eleven-year-old heir to the throne -- hatched a plot to restore the Bourbon dynasty. For months, she commanded a guerilla army and evaded capture by disguising herself as a man. But soon she was betrayed by her trusted advisor, Simon Deutz, the son of France's Chief Rabbi. By blaming an entire people for the actions of a single man, the duchess's supporters set the terms for the century of antisemitism that followed. My Review:⭐️⭐⭐.5/ 5 stars I am such a sucker for these historical books about old age royalty. I had not read about this particular Duchess and her plight but it was so interesting too. The book is extremely detailed and filled with tiny details about every single thing. It might be boring to some, but I ate it all up. I can easily see this story translate to becoming a scandalous HBO show or something. If you are into these kinds of novels, you will love it!! However if you need a quick read, then this is not for you.

  4. 4 out of 5

    troyerlaw

    I loved this book! I didn't know much about 19th century French history or culture. This book is both a suspenseful story about the Duchesse de Berry trying to reclaim the French throne for her young son, but also a fascinating case study about the origins of modern European antisemitism. The author is a French lit professor at Yale, but the book isn't dense or theoretical. The underlying story is so interesting, you don't realize how much history and scholarship you're getting on the down low. I loved this book! I didn't know much about 19th century French history or culture. This book is both a suspenseful story about the Duchesse de Berry trying to reclaim the French throne for her young son, but also a fascinating case study about the origins of modern European antisemitism. The author is a French lit professor at Yale, but the book isn't dense or theoretical. The underlying story is so interesting, you don't realize how much history and scholarship you're getting on the down low. I strongly recommend.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    I quite enjoyed the biographical sections on the Duchess, the politics at the Bourbon & Orleanian Courts, etc. I was quite invested in that aspect of this book and found these parts to be well-written and engaging. Ironically enough, considering this author is a professor at Yale and a founding director of the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism, this made me uncomfortable as the basic premise of the author's theory regarding Deutz felt antisemitic. I am not Jewish nor am I any kinda expert I quite enjoyed the biographical sections on the Duchess, the politics at the Bourbon & Orleanian Courts, etc. I was quite invested in that aspect of this book and found these parts to be well-written and engaging. Ironically enough, considering this author is a professor at Yale and a founding director of the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism, this made me uncomfortable as the basic premise of the author's theory regarding Deutz felt antisemitic. I am not Jewish nor am I any kinda expert on antisemitism. I do know oppression and how it is perpetuated often unintentionally in historical texts. I know how language is often used to place responsibility for oppression ceaselessly at the door of the oppressed. I am passingly familiar with some of the history regarding how Jewish folks were oppressed in Europe. I studied directly what happened on the Iberian Peninsula before the 'Moorish' conquest and after the Catholic Conquest in 1492. Post 1492 Castile (Spain) Jewish folks were forced to convert or leave under duress and without most of their possessions & wealth. However later, The Spanish Inquisition, which was largely Castilian as Spain as we know it did not exist at that time, primarily targeted converted Jewish & Muslim folks, Conversos & Moriscos. Because converting didn't lessen antisemitism. Yet this author's theory is that in France at least that antisemitism was reduced when Jewish folks converted to Catholicism, prior to Napoleon taking power in France, anyway. The French Revolution not only ended second class status for Jewish folks but apparently ended antisemitism in France wholesale. So that Napoleon and those supporting his viewpoints on the concerns of 'Jewish moneylending' & Jewish folks failure to assimilate into French culture were acting out of legitimate concerns? Even though concerns about 'Jewish moneylending' is a dog-whistle antisemitism. Much like concerns about Black folks and crime or drugs. The existence of The Spanish Inquisition would glaringly refute the position that assimilating ends antisemitism. So what is the author suggesting here? The eradication of centuries of antisemitic oppression In what 15 or so years???? I truly wish that oppression could be eradicated that easily or completely. Napoleon was wildly antisemitic. It wasn't that Jewish folks weren't 'assimilating' quickly enough. That's a very common tactic of oppressive regimes, the claim that groups which are oppressed and ostracized aren't making an effort to assimilate. No, it was that Napoleon was only okay with Jewish folks being members of French society if their Judaism was limited to their ancestry and not their religion, language, customs, dress, etc. Napoleon's coup of France flips The Revolution on it's head. He sets back the advance of Civil/Human Rights in France centuries. Women gain truly equalizing rights for that time period in Europe during the Revolution, Napoleon removes many of those rights. One example, the right for women to sue for divorce, a right they don't regain for almost 200 yrs. He removes or kneecaps many of the freedoms given by the Revolutionary governments. This behavior predictably impacts Black folks when Napoleon attempts to re-enslave Haiti and successfully re-enslaves other French Caribbean Islands. He utterly betrays all of the ideals of The French Revolution and is a tyrant by every measure of the word. His treatment of Jewish folks in France is disgustingly antisemitic and should be labeled so. It's also on-brand with his general deepening & widening of what we'd now call white supremacist, sexist and fascist agenda/policies. 🤷🏾‍♀️ Its absurd to pretend that Napoleon was motivated by anything other than antisemitism. I don't agree that a person with Jewish ancestry who converted to Catholicism and betrayed a dethroned Princess increased antisemitism. Oh, I don't doubt there was a rise in antisemitism but that's because those folks were already antisemitic and just looking for a reason to say so openly. There was a rise in racism post OJ Simpson's acquittal. That's not because a Black person got away with a crime, something white folks do everyday and no one cares; rather folks who were already racist used the acquittal as an excuse to do so openly. Folks who weren't racist to begin with weren't enticed into racism. French folks who weren't antisemitic didn't suddenly become so because of Deutz. Rather antisemitic folks as a flex of their antisemitic power, blamed the French Jewish Community as a whole for the behavior of a single person with Jewish ancestry. These folks in modern times during the pandemic can often be found unmasked loudly claiming that wearing masks violates their rights.🙄 That's pretty much how systems of oppression operate. They are dishonest and shift blame for their bad behaviors on their victims. It's the equivalent of suggesting that folks who dress suggestively are asking to get assaulted. Or folks who are assaulted while intoxicated shouldn't have been intoxicated, as if that excuses assault. This author might want to study critical race theory because this position on Deutz reads as an unintentional support of antisemitism in particular and white supremacy in general. Sigh.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    Nonfiction about the 1830s in France. After the Bourbons had been kicked off the throne for the second time, the duchesse de Berry, widowed mother of the theoretically legitimate king (who was only 11), attempted to lead a civil war in rural France to retake the crown. This obviously did not go so well, and after her defeat she went into hiding, only to be betrayed to the police by one of her followers named Simon Deutz. Deutz had been raised Jewish, and despite his recent conversion to Catholic Nonfiction about the 1830s in France. After the Bourbons had been kicked off the throne for the second time, the duchesse de Berry, widowed mother of the theoretically legitimate king (who was only 11), attempted to lead a civil war in rural France to retake the crown. This obviously did not go so well, and after her defeat she went into hiding, only to be betrayed to the police by one of her followers named Simon Deutz. Deutz had been raised Jewish, and despite his recent conversion to Catholicism was best-known for being the son of France's Chief Rabbi. Unsurprisingly, his actions led to an upswell of antisemitism, and Samuels argues this moment was one of the key shifts from antisemitism's medieval form (blood libel, backwards religiously) to its modern form (global capitalists, pushing the New World Order). Even if you don't exactly agree with the duchess's pro-monarchy politics, she's a fascinating figure: despite being frequently described as "not pretty" by other members of the nobility, with bad teeth and a wandering left eye, she became a fashion icon who set the most glamorous trends of Parisian style; only 4'7, she was an inspiring military leader and modeled herself after Joan of Arc; idealized as the perfect, devoted mother by her followers, she had an affair and bore a child out of wedlock, who shortly thereafter died, probably due at least partly to parental neglect. Deutz seems like a bit of a terrible person, even ignoring all of the racist accusations of his detractors: unable to keep any job for long, constantly running up debts and taking advantage of anyone foolish enough to loan him money, given to violent outbursts and heavy drinking and self-aggrandizing. As the aftermath of the clash between him and the duchess played out in newspapers, books, caricatures, and politics, it's easy to see how she came to represent old-school values of honor, trust, courage, and loyalty, while he stood for the modern world of hard cash, putting yourself first, individualism, and immigration (having been born not only Jewish, but in a German village before moving to France as a toddler). Of course, it's the tragedy of the last two hundred years that these symbols accrued not only to Deutz himself, but to all Jewish people. It's a very relevant piece of history, and one that I'd never heard of before. There's all sorts of interesting repercussions to other areas, from Les Miserables to Alexandre Dumas to the Dreyfus Affair, the more recent and more well-known outburst of French antisemitism. I was particularly interested in the history of French Judaism in the early 1800s, the way the community gained rights and lost them in the swinging pendulum of Revolution, Napoleon, and Restoration. The writing style is smooth and engaging, and Samuels does a very good job of drawing parallels from this singular event to its still-ongoing repercussions. I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mshelton50

    Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies was married to her distant cousin, the duc de Berry, in 1816, two years after the restoration of the Bourbons to the French throne. It was shortly after the duc was murdered at the opera in 1820 that madame la duchesse de Berry gave birth to the much-awaited male heir, the duc de Bordeaux. In 1830, however, Parisians rose up against her reactionary father-in-law, Charles X, and forced his abdication. Charles' older son, the duc de Angouleme, also p Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies was married to her distant cousin, the duc de Berry, in 1816, two years after the restoration of the Bourbons to the French throne. It was shortly after the duc was murdered at the opera in 1820 that madame la duchesse de Berry gave birth to the much-awaited male heir, the duc de Bordeaux. In 1830, however, Parisians rose up against her reactionary father-in-law, Charles X, and forced his abdication. Charles' older son, the duc de Angouleme, also promplty renounced his rights in favor of Caroline's son, who thus became King Henri V to the Legitimists. The head of the cadet branch of the royal family, the duc d'Orleans, Louis-Philippe (who also happened to be married to Caroline's aunt), however, would only agree to serve as regent for the boy king if he was sent to Paris to be brought up; when Charles and Caroline refused, Louis-Philippe agreed to become "King of the French" in his own right. Maurice Samuels' new book, The Betrayal of the Duchess: The Scandal that Unmade the Bourbon Monarchy and Made France Modern, is concerned with the duchesse de Berry's abortive 1832 uprising in favor of her son, and more particularly with the man who would eventually betray her to Louis-Philippe's police, Simon Deutz, the son of the Chief Rabbi of France. Professor Samuels argues that Deutz's betrayal not only finished off the Bourbon monarchy, but also gave rise to modern anti-Semitism in France. The book also offers a brief glimpse of the political scramble to establish a government that followed the disastrous fall of the Second Empire in 1870, when Henri V makes another appearance. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of France in the 19th century, and/or the history of modern anti-Semitism. Along the way, a number of famous names will appear, including Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and Adolphe Thiers, among others. The book is well written, and moves along at a brisk pace. Highly recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    The Duchess De Berry affair captivated the whole world yet we in the modern world have never heard of her. Isn't it amazing how such moments affairs just fade from the collective consciousness? The first few pages sum up everything for me. First, and this has nothing to do with anything, the Duchess was 4 foot 7 inches tall. Secondly, she spent 16 hours in a priest hole next to a fireplace to evade capture by her enemies and almost got away except for a soldier lighting a fire and still did not The Duchess De Berry affair captivated the whole world yet we in the modern world have never heard of her. Isn't it amazing how such moments affairs just fade from the collective consciousness? The first few pages sum up everything for me. First, and this has nothing to do with anything, the Duchess was 4 foot 7 inches tall. Secondly, she spent 16 hours in a priest hole next to a fireplace to evade capture by her enemies and almost got away except for a soldier lighting a fire and still did not come out until she almost perished. So small and so formidable. Thirdly, her betrayal by a jew ushered in anti-Semitism into France that the author posed was the link between Judas and Dreyfus. And fourth, I will never really understand the Dreyfus Affair as long as live. I get the drift of it but why it took such a life of its own when it was proven the documents were forged I don't know. The story begins with the duchess' birth in Naples, at the Caserta a 2 million square foot palace with 1200 rooms in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius. WOW.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Wynne

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Reviewed for JBF The betrayal of the Duchess: The scandal that unmade the Bourbon Monarchy and made France modern. By Maurice Samuels. In the late 1820’s in France, Simon Deutz converted to Catholicism to advance his career. He becomes the trusted confidant of the Duchess de Berry who was the mother to third in line to the throne. After a failed coup to restore the Bourbon line, the Duchess went into hiding. It was Simon Deutz who would lead the police to her hideout. Thus beginning a huge backlas Reviewed for JBF The betrayal of the Duchess: The scandal that unmade the Bourbon Monarchy and made France modern. By Maurice Samuels. In the late 1820’s in France, Simon Deutz converted to Catholicism to advance his career. He becomes the trusted confidant of the Duchess de Berry who was the mother to third in line to the throne. After a failed coup to restore the Bourbon line, the Duchess went into hiding. It was Simon Deutz who would lead the police to her hideout. Thus beginning a huge backlash against the Jews. Well written and thoroughly researched. It’s a bit tedious but very enlightening. It goes very deep on the history of anti-semitisim in France and how this particular event has been used over the past 100+ years to condemn an entire religion vs looking at it as the actions of one man. If Mr. Samuels presents well, it could be a fascinating discussion on the rise of antisemitism in Europe.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Wren Gray

    I received this book from its publisher through NetGallet in return for an honest review. As a lover of history and especially interested in the lives of historical women, The Betrayal of the Duchess quickly became a favorite of mine. The Duchess de Berry deserves such an accolade to her person and her endeavors and the author does this amazing woman justice. While the book reads like any accurate historical biography, the writing style of the author makes trudging through the past entertaining. I received this book from its publisher through NetGallet in return for an honest review. As a lover of history and especially interested in the lives of historical women, The Betrayal of the Duchess quickly became a favorite of mine. The Duchess de Berry deserves such an accolade to her person and her endeavors and the author does this amazing woman justice. While the book reads like any accurate historical biography, the writing style of the author makes trudging through the past entertaining. Focusing on the actual events and the people who endured them, you still get a personal glimpse at the women herself. Don’t miss out on this wonderful book! It was easy to give this piece a 5 star rating and I look forward to anything else from Maurice Samuels.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    What a pleasure to have a gripping, but still scholarly, history that covers the main themes of the Napoleonic era through July Monarchy in France (legitimism vs liberalism, aristocratic"honor" vs inchoate capitalism, assimilation and the emergence of modern anti-semitism, separate spheres and its contradictions, the legacy of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars etc.) all in a story featuring miraculous babies, assassination, rebellion, betrayal, and secret love affairs! Samuels did a grea What a pleasure to have a gripping, but still scholarly, history that covers the main themes of the Napoleonic era through July Monarchy in France (legitimism vs liberalism, aristocratic"honor" vs inchoate capitalism, assimilation and the emergence of modern anti-semitism, separate spheres and its contradictions, the legacy of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars etc.) all in a story featuring miraculous babies, assassination, rebellion, betrayal, and secret love affairs! Samuels did a great job of capturing so much of what draws me to this comparatively neglected period of French history - that weird co-existence of the old regime and the new, which makes formulating coherent narratives of linear development difficult but also more interesting.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Why-why

    Well written, the author is able to draw you into the story. However, I found it to be a fairly weak story. For a book with Scandal and Betrayal in the title, it's pretty light on intrigue and drama. The Duchess' attempt at a coup against the July Monarchy was endless folly. Under more savvy leadership history may have been different but Duchess De Berry was simply not up to the task. Given such a weak story base, the Duchess' story seems merely the vehicle to discuss the anti-Semitism that arose Well written, the author is able to draw you into the story. However, I found it to be a fairly weak story. For a book with Scandal and Betrayal in the title, it's pretty light on intrigue and drama. The Duchess' attempt at a coup against the July Monarchy was endless folly. Under more savvy leadership history may have been different but Duchess De Berry was simply not up to the task. Given such a weak story base, the Duchess' story seems merely the vehicle to discuss the anti-Semitism that arose out of Simon Deutz's betrayal of the Duchess. The author argues that the Deutz incident was the birth of modern anti-Semitism, forecasting and leading to the Dreyfus affair. That is undeniably true, coming as it did right after Napoleon, the very beginning of the modern era by definition. While that is chronologically true, Samuels gives no substance to the argument. I would have liked something addressing how so Deutz is modern anti-Semitism, different from pre-modern anti-Semitism in Europe before Napoleon.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ghita Schwarz

    This book is both a riveting yarn and an informative history, beautifully written and with lots of commentary relevant to today's world. The Duchess is a fascinating character with great intelligence and magnetism, and the book does an incredible job of bringing her and her contemporaries to life. The man who betrayed her, Isaac Deutz, was in many ways just a talented opportunist, but he became a lightning rod for a new kind of anti-semitism that would change the course of French and ultimately This book is both a riveting yarn and an informative history, beautifully written and with lots of commentary relevant to today's world. The Duchess is a fascinating character with great intelligence and magnetism, and the book does an incredible job of bringing her and her contemporaries to life. The man who betrayed her, Isaac Deutz, was in many ways just a talented opportunist, but he became a lightning rod for a new kind of anti-semitism that would change the course of French and ultimately world history. A truly great read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    David Geller

    As an avid reader of historical non-fiction, I was cautiously optimistic that this seemingly obscure event in history would capture my interest. Suffice it to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how thoroughly engaging this story is from start to finish! I am completely amazed that I had never heard or read anything about this real historical incident. Similar to Erik Larson, the author does an incredible job of leveraging in-depth research to tell the story in a format that reads like your f As an avid reader of historical non-fiction, I was cautiously optimistic that this seemingly obscure event in history would capture my interest. Suffice it to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how thoroughly engaging this story is from start to finish! I am completely amazed that I had never heard or read anything about this real historical incident. Similar to Erik Larson, the author does an incredible job of leveraging in-depth research to tell the story in a format that reads like your favorite novel. Highly recommended!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The first thing that intrigued me about this book was the title, as I'm intrigued by scandals involving royalty and nobility throughout history. And the connection to the 1830 Revolution was also cool. I enjoyed reading about the complex and cutthroat politics of the time, including the titular betrayal. The writing is a little dense, but it's very informative. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The first thing that intrigued me about this book was the title, as I'm intrigued by scandals involving royalty and nobility throughout history. And the connection to the 1830 Revolution was also cool. I enjoyed reading about the complex and cutthroat politics of the time, including the titular betrayal. The writing is a little dense, but it's very informative.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Janie Anderson

    I like to have a variety on my blog. And for history readers #'The Betrayal of the Duchess' by author # Maurice Samuels is a good read. It's the interesting story of a high-spirited woman, in the year 1830. The royal family is in exile, a revolution,and a plot to restore the dynasty. All the makings of a winning read!! Thank you, #Netgalley, # Maurice Samuels, and # Perseus Books for the advanced copy I like to have a variety on my blog. And for history readers #'The Betrayal of the Duchess' by author # Maurice Samuels is a good read. It's the interesting story of a high-spirited woman, in the year 1830. The royal family is in exile, a revolution,and a plot to restore the dynasty. All the makings of a winning read!! Thank you, #Netgalley, # Maurice Samuels, and # Perseus Books for the advanced copy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Pros :: Such a timely book on antisemitism and the horrible discrimination of people because of their race, religion or “otherness.” Learned so much about this period in France — didn’t even know the event happened, and quite interested to learn about the Duchess du Berry, her biography and the betrayal. Very well written and the inclusion of prints was very helpful. Cons :: Nothing Cover art :: 5 out of 5. So wonderful to have the subject face forward.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    Fascinating historical drama from a transformative period Great mix of suspense , historical drama, and serious (but digestible) scholarly analysis. The story ties together several key transformative developments of the 19th century

  19. 5 out of 5

    John Allen

    Wonderful and Enlightening, While for the most part forgotten, this compelling story makes for a fascinating journey to the end of the road for the Bourbon dynasty in France. Immensely readable, for both the casual browser and the ardent history buff!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    Eh, it was OK. It felt like the author couldn’t decide whether the book was about the duchess de Berry, her accuser (Simon Deutz), or anti-semitism (towards Deutz and in general). The lack of focus made it a lackluster read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Detailed and well researched examination of a, to me, unknown period of French history. In addition to the fascinating story of the Duchess whose child was briefly the heir to the throne of France, the author explores the rise of anti-semitism in France.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kay Mcleer

    This was one of the most interesting reads, it's from something that I have never heard of before and enjoyed learning about. It was well written and the characters were great. This was one of the most interesting reads, it's from something that I have never heard of before and enjoyed learning about. It was well written and the characters were great.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    Prof. Samuels hits it out of the park again. I know what you're thinking: "Another review of this book with a baseball metaphor!" Well, get over it. Prof. Samuels hits it out of the park again. I know what you're thinking: "Another review of this book with a baseball metaphor!" Well, get over it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shoshana Socher

    LOVED but couldn't keep all the names straight LOVED but couldn't keep all the names straight

  25. 5 out of 5

    Westley

    TMI for me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Susan Waterman

    This has so much preamble as filler I just can’t get past it. And it is so dry in the telling I tend to fall asleep after reading two pages. Too much of a slogfest so I quit

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Perske

    Where has the Duchesse de Berry been all my life? I thought I knew something about French history, but this tale of court intrigue, deception, high and low politics, and nineteenth century antisemitism was a revelation. Highly readable and effortlessly informative, this book brings its characters and their milieu to life. A good read, in every sense.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elvis

    I hope they make a movie! I don’t usually read a ton of historical nonfiction (prefer fiction) but this is a great story that reads like a novel. I am a writer myself and was given an advance copy of this and found myself totally transported. I had forgotten so much French history but it’s woven in so deftly to a really compelling and well-told yarn.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This was a very interesting book, covering a part of French history that I wasn’t aware of. Very detailed, well written and throughly researched, I found it a compelling read. It’s a bit dense so took some time to get through but very enlightening. It goes very deep on the history of anti-semitisim in France and how this particular event has been used over the past 100+ years to condemn an entire religion vs looking at it as the actions of one man. I received an e-arc from Netgalley and the publi This was a very interesting book, covering a part of French history that I wasn’t aware of. Very detailed, well written and throughly researched, I found it a compelling read. It’s a bit dense so took some time to get through but very enlightening. It goes very deep on the history of anti-semitisim in France and how this particular event has been used over the past 100+ years to condemn an entire religion vs looking at it as the actions of one man. I received an e-arc from Netgalley and the publisher in order to provide an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Donna Pingry

    What a pleasure to read of a little know character in French History. The Duchess is far more delightful than many of her male counterparts. Brave, faithful, loyal and reckless all in one pint size 4 foot 7 inch woman. Sadly, history is written by the winners who are mostly male. Had she been allowed to raise her own children, had she been backed by the family she was trying to return to power, had there been a sense of loyalty within the Bourbon family, we might never have heard of her. And she What a pleasure to read of a little know character in French History. The Duchess is far more delightful than many of her male counterparts. Brave, faithful, loyal and reckless all in one pint size 4 foot 7 inch woman. Sadly, history is written by the winners who are mostly male. Had she been allowed to raise her own children, had she been backed by the family she was trying to return to power, had there been a sense of loyalty within the Bourbon family, we might never have heard of her. And she never would have been betrayed by a unscrupulous man named Simon Deutz. . Terrible people come in all shapes and sizes, all sexes, colors, nationalities and religions. Simon Deutz was ambitious, lazy and conniving. He changed opinions and religions faster than he changed his attire. He was just greedy and evil. The innocent race and religion he came from was tarnished by his wickedness. yet he never spent a day in prison and his family took him back. Very interesting read. A bit long. but worth it if you love history.

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