Historical French Fiction
If you're into the history of France, then you're probably familiar with the many pieces of Historical French Fiction available for sale. These articles cover topics ranging from Madame Tussaud's wax museum to the life of Vianne Mauriac. You might also be interested in reading my review of Luc Crepet's latest project, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This article will be useful for your next book club discussion.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a complex novel about unrequited love. Although it is set in the year 1482, it has a modern world setting, reflected in the 19th century. Hugo's sweeping narrative and evocative imagery make the novel both compelling and affecting. It is also a historical novel, with much of the action taking place in the famous cathedral of Notre Dame.
The novel starts with the life of Quasimodo, an orphan and bell-ringer at Notre Dame Cathedral. Quasimodo is half blind and deaf. His mother can't bear to look at him, and he is abandoned in the cathedral by Claude Frollo. He is given the task of ringing the bells of the cathedral, but soon afterward, his lack of hearing causes him to go deaf.
Adaptations of The Hunchback of Notre Dame have followed the novel, although they've often diverged from Hugo's original storyline. The 1939 film starred Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara, and the 1996 Disney adaptation starred Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Saunders. The novel has inspired books and toys as well. There are a number of musicals and stage productions based on it, including the award-winning Notre-Dame de Paris.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame has many themes and characters. A central theme is the idea of redemption. Quasimodo is a human being, and the complexities of this character's condition are explored through a variety of settings. While the plot revolves around Quasimodo and the city's cathedral, it satirizes society's tendency to heap misery on the likes of Quasimodo and Esmeralda.
Marie Tussaud's wax museum
Among the most famous and well-known historical figures of the 18th century is Madame Tussaud. During her lifetime, she exhibited wax figures of famous people, including Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. She was imprisoned and nearly executed during the French Revolution, but she still managed to impress many with her work. She later brought her famous wax figures to England.
Marie Tussaud's wax museum is one of the most popular attractions in Paris. It is a historical reference that reflects Marie's life and career, as she had connections to the French royal family and revolutionaries. During the French Revolution, her family played both sides and Marie was imprisoned, but she managed to escape alive. Marie married Francois Tussaud in 1795, and they settled in London. They founded the museum in 1850.
Madame Tussaud started her career in the wax business under the tutelage of Dr. Philip Curtius. At first, she sculpted body parts for medical students, but then expanded her work to wax heads. She exhibited her creations in a converted monkey house, and eventually became a close companion to a royal princess. The novel also follows the story of Madame Tussaud before the French Revolution.
A number of historical characters were also immortalized in the wax figures. While this wasn't necessarily true for historical figures, wax figures were often more dignified than the actual person they were depicting. It was a popular historical activity and, indeed, the French people had many famous figures encased in wax and plaster. The museum even had models of Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Horatio Nelson, and Sir Walter Scott.
Vianne Mauriac's life
In "An Orphan's Story," author Elizabeth Wein evokes the real life of Vianne Mauriac, an orphan who was orphaned when she was just fourteen and sent to live with hired help. Her husband, Antoine, goes off to the front, and she finds herself forced to work with the enemy to save her family. But when he's not at home, she's in grave danger. Her sister Isabelle falls in love with a French man, and together, they join the resistance.
After her husband's death in June 1941, Vianne has to find work or be sent to a German POW camp with her daughter. During this time, she spends all of her savings on her daughter, Sophie. She also starts to feel sick and starts to question the arrest of another teacher. However, she is forced to take help from the Captain Beck and his men because her daughter Sophie needs her. The Germans are deporting foreign-born Jews to the concentration camps, and Captain Beck warns Vianne a day before her deportation.
Throughout the novel, Vianne finds herself in a similar situation. Her husband, Anthony, is also separated from his family due to his military duties, and the resistance leader Isabelle falls in love with her. Unlike her husband, Anthony, she is forced to work long hours to save her family. And her mother and sister, Rachel, are in a similar situation. Although she struggles to make ends meet, she is determined to fight for her family.
Aside from her husband's death, Vianne also finds herself facing the aftermath of war. She fears that Antoine will be deported and will never return, but she still manages to find comfort in her daughter's love. Moreover, despite her worries, she still goes out to buy rations for herself and her daughter. It is a story that will keep you turning pages!
Luc Crepet's latest project
In his latest Historical French Fiction novel, Luc Crepet reveals how one of his favorite literary figures came to be the author of the classic 'Les Miserables.' Set during the French Revolution, Luc Crepet's latest novel, "The Inventor," follows a Scottish girl named Clare Ross, whose grandfather is an ardent French enthusiast. In an attempt to protect her from her grandfather's vengeance, a young girl, Clare Ross, finds comfort and inspiration in her connections to Luc Crepet. During her grandfather's long absence, she is whisked off to far-away places, including the Mediterranean and the Americas.
Michelle Moran's Mistress of the Revolution
In her latest novel, Michelle Moran reimagines the Napoleonic era. Marie-Louise is the second daughter of King of Austria and the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, who cast aside his beautiful wife to marry a Hapsburg princess in hopes that she would bear him an heir. After the bloody French Revolution, Napoleon is in absolute power. As Marie-Louise approaches the age of eighteen, she must decide whether or not to marry the French emperor.
The historical context is fascinating. Moran captures the rapid political changes in France and the crazed tumble of icons and despotic personalities. Despite the fact that she is not a historical historian, her depiction of Marie Grosholtz will make you want to read the novel. The French Revolution is described in detail, and Moran does an excellent job presenting the events of that time in a fascinating manner.
The plot is riveting, and it's easy to fall in love with the characters. The era is a time when France is facing turmoil and the French Revolution is at the heart of it. A young woman named Marie must choose between two very different roles to save her family, and the two women are very different, yet both are important to the story. In a way, this novel embodies this period well.
This is a gripping novel that will make you want to read more of Michelle Moran's novels. The novel's heroine, Marie Grosholtz, is a well-developed and fascinating character who straddles the Jacobins and the royal family. Her journey through history explains how the French Revolution became so powerful and so threatening. If you're a fan of historical fiction, you'll find many books set in this period.