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French Revolution Series by Jean Plaidy

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amyb
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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French Revolution Series by Jean Plaidy

Postby amyb » Thu August 28th, 2008, 8:48 pm

The godmother of all historical fiction takes us back to the 18th century and into the life of “pleasure loving” Louis XV.

The French Revolution series by Jean Plaidy begins with Louis the Well Beloved. It opens with the death of Louis XIV, leaving a 5 year old Louis XV as king of France. The novel focuses on the women in his life – and there were many! Talk about a man whore…I think he would give Wilt Chamberlain a run for his money!
Louis XV even had a mansion called, Parc aux Cerfs, where he kept his very young mistresses, but he only liked to keep 3 at a time (because he said it was a nice number). What a super guy! He actually made me feel a little icky inside at times.

The Road to Compiegne picks up when Louis XV is 40 years old. After being insulted and ignored when riding through Paris, Louis declares that he will visit Paris for state functions only. He builds a road that skirts the city of Paris. He calls it the Road to Compiegne…the Parisians called it “Route de la Revolte”.

It amazed me how Louis XV avoided politics or the running of his kingdom in any shape or form. Completely disinterested. Kinda like a George Bush of the 18th century. On his deathbed he takes stock of the life he has lead and becomes saddened when realizes what his mismanagement or non-management of France has done to the country and its citizens. He is sorry to leave his grandson with a country teeming with poverty and civil unrest, but it is too late (as is usually the case with hind sight).

Marie Antionette and Louis XVI are the main characters in Flaunting, Extravagant Queen. Louis XV has just died and his grandson is left to try and put the pieces of his kingdom back together. Unfortunately, he is not very successful, even though he really does care about France. He often loved the people so much that it was to his detriment. I was sympathetic with Marie, but felt Louis XVI was too much of a wussy….at times you just wanted him to grow a backbone!

All in all this was a pretty good series. One of the things I love about reading is feeling the connection with the characters, but I didn’t feel that here. I formed opinions of them, but don’t feel like I got to know them. I didn’t even cry at the end (which is unusual for me). Worth the read, but not one to really sink your teeth into.

Overall: 3/5

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Misfit
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Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Thu August 28th, 2008, 10:04 pm

I still have yet to read Plaidy. Interesting but I have been reading Dumas' series on the French Revolution and they are quite good, quite hard to put down. I've just got the last one to go and I believe this one covers the attempt to rescue Marie Antoinette.

tsjmom
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Postby tsjmom » Fri August 29th, 2008, 2:19 am

"amyb" wrote:
It amazed me how Louis XV avoided politics or the running of his kingdom in any shape or form. Completely disinterested. Kinda like a George Bush of the 18th century. On his deathbed he takes stock of the life he has lead and becomes saddened when realizes what his mismanagement or non-management of France has done to the country and its citizens. He is sorry to leave his grandson with a country teeming with poverty and civil unrest, but it is too late (as is usually the case with hind sight).



I never realized how inept Louis XV was until reading the Road to Compiegne. His grandson is the one associated with the fall of the French monarchy, but much more of the blame rests on XV's shoulders.

Even with that said, I think your comparison of "W" to Louis XV is an insult to poor Louis:rolleyes: I'm not hopeful that they'll share similar death bed realizations :cool:

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Catherine Delors
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Location: Paris, London, Los Angeles
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Postby Catherine Delors » Fri August 29th, 2008, 4:40 pm

Louis XV had a very long reign (59 years, far more than any US presidency) and he was an intelligent, concerned monarch, very much aware of the problems faced by France. True, he became very unpopular in the last years of his reign, when his sex life became a public disgrace, and simply because people were ready for a change.
Also true, all the problems that would lead to the Revolution were already present under his reign, but he was probably much more adept as a politician than his grandson Louis XVI. Would the Revolution have happened under his watch? I doubt it, but I readily admit that I speculate here...

tsjmom
Reader

Postby tsjmom » Fri August 29th, 2008, 4:47 pm

So Catherine, is the description of XV wrong in Plaidy's RTC? Truth be told, I've never really read much about him per se, it's either XIV or XVI. I've read more about Mme Pompadour than XV LOL! I certainly defer to you on this issue since you are MUCH more knowledgeable than I.


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