2012 Release: The Queen's Lover by Francine du Plessix Gray

by Francine du Plessix Gray

Release Date:  June 14, 2012


The Queen’s Lover begins at a masquerade ball in Paris in 1774, when the dashing Swedish nobleman Count Axel von Fersen first meets the mesmerizing nineteen-year-old Dauphine, Marie Antoinette, wife of the shy, reclusive prince who will soon become Louis XVI. This electric encounter launches a lifelong romance that will span the course of the French Revolution.

The affair begins in friendship, however, and Fersen quickly becomes a devoted companion to the entire royal family. As he roams the halls of Versailles and visits the private haven of Le Petit Trianon, Fersen discovers the deepest secrets of the court, even learning the startling, erotic details of Marie Antoinette’s marriage to Louis XVI. But the events of the American Revolution tear Fersen away. Moved by the cause, he joins French troops in the fight for American independence. When he returns, he finds France on the brink of disintegration. After the Revolution of 1789 the royal family is moved from Versailles to the Tuileries. Fersen devises an escape for the family and their young children (Marie-Thérèse and the Dauphin—whom many suspect is in fact Fersen’s son). The failed attempt leads to a more grueling imprisonment, and the family spends its excruciating final days captive before the King and Queen meet the guillotine.

Grieving his lost love in his native Sweden, Fersen begins to sense the effects of the French Revolution in his homeland. Royalists are now targets, and the sensuous world of his youth is fast vanishing. Fersen is incapable of realizing that centuries of tradition have disappeared, and he pays dearly for his naïveté, losing his life at the hands of a savage mob that views him as a pivotal member of the aristocracy. Scion of Sweden’s most esteemed nobility, Fersen came to be seen as an enemy of the country he loved. His fate is symbolic of the violent speed with which the events of the eighteenth century transformed European culture. Expertly researched and deeply imagined, The Queen’s Lover is a fresh vision of the French Revolution and the French royal family as told through the love story that was at its center.


  1. Wow, this sounds brilliant! Thanks for sharing, Amy.

  2. This book sounds fantastic! A completely absorbing story filled with all kinds of excitement and highs and lows! I'm going to put this on my wish list and make sure I remember to look it up when it's published!

  3. I read about this relationship in a Jean Plaidy book on Marie Antoinette. I hadn't known of this facet of her character before. Sounds fascinating this book as well.

  4. Great premise for a book! Amy, thanks for telling us about it. I am so glad you're back.


  5. Amy, thank you for letting us know about this book. Your blog is one of the best. We are now having a discussion about The Queen's Lover in
    our on-going discussion about Marie-Antoinette and Count Fersen.


  6. Wow! Thanks for telling us about this book, Amy. This one hits me where I live (or where Juliet does) as the relationship between Marie Antoinette and Axel von Fersen develops in the second book of Juliet Grey's Marie Antoinette trilogy, DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW, due out in 2012.

  7. I have always been fascinated with Marie Antoinette. She was such a misunderstood creature and one doesn't know whether to like or dislike her. I would love to read this book to further my knowledge of this very complicated lady.

  8. This book is going to be a most worthwhile read. It covers some issues I am not familiar with as well as relationships I did not know existed.
    Another one to look forward to.


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