The Lost King of France

The Lost King of France

A True Story of Revolution, Revenge, and DNA

Book - 2002
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Royalty, revolution, and scientific mystery - the dramatic true account of the fate of Louis XVII, son of Marie Antoinette, and an extraordinary detective story that spans more than two hundred years.Louis-Charles, Duc de Normandie, enjoyed a charmed early childhood in the gilded palace of Versailles. At the age of four, he became the dauphin, heir to the most powerful throne in Europe. Yet within five years he was to lose everything. Drawn into the horror of the French Revolution, his family was incarcerated and their fate thrust into the hands of the revolutionaries who wished to destroy the monarchy.In 1793, when Marie Antoinette was beheaded at the guillotine, she left her adored eight-year-old son imprisoned in the Temple Tower. Far from inheriting a throne, the orphaned boy-king had to endure the hostility and abuse of a nation. Two years later, the revolutionary leaders declared Louis XVII dead. No grave was dug, no monument built to mark his passing.Immediately, rumors spread that the prince had, in fact, escaped from prison and was still alive. Others believed that he had been murdered, his heart cut out and preserved as a relic. As with the tragedies of England's princes in the Tower and the Romanov archduchess Anastasia, countless "brothers" soon approached Louis-Charles's older sister, Marie-Therese, who survived the revolution. They claimed not only the dauphin's name, but also his inheritance. Several "princes" were plausible, but which, if any, was the real heir to the French throne?The Lost King of France is a moving and dramatic tale that interweaves a pivotal moment in France's history with a compelling detective story that involves pretenders to the crown, royalist plots and palace intrigue, bizarre legal battles, and modern science. The quest for the truth continued into the twenty-first century, when, thanks to DNA testing, the strange odyssey of a stolen heart found within the royal tombs brought an exciting conclusion to the two-hundred-year-old mystery of thelost king of France.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2002.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780312283124
0312283121
Branch Call Number: 944.042092 Louis -C
Characteristics: xviii, 299 pages : illustrations

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Jan 19, 2015

The Lost King of France: A True Story of Revolution, Revenge and DNA. --- by Deborah Cadbury. On April 19, 2000, Professors Cassiman and Brinkman announced to the world that the boy who had died in the Tower of Paris in 1795 was definitely the son of Marie-Antoinette. This conclusion had definitively been arrived at by the comparison of Mitochondrial DNA taken from samples taken from Marie-Antoinette’s matrilineal descendents and a very important relic of Louis-Charles, son of Louis XVI and heir to the French throne as Louis XVII: the Dauphin’s heart. This finally wrote finis to two centuries of false pretenders who laid claim to the throne of France, who claimed to be the prince; who claimed to have been secreted from the tower and to have survived execution. But this isn’t where the strength of this book lies. Rather its real story lies with the tale it tells of the royal family, Louis XV, Marie Antoinette, the princess Marie Therese and young Louis Charles, heir to the throne and how they were terrorized, tortured and then, one by one save for Marie Therese, they were murdered by the rabble in the name of France. Author Cadbury writes history convincingly and with great empathy. One is ready to curse those who perpetuate the revolution in the name of democracy and equality but end up doling out nothing but monstrosities. She makes history very, very personal. Lots of references and a good helping of bibliography.

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