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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guest Beth Trissel: The French Revolution

Linda Banche here. Today my guest is fellow Wild Rose Press author, Beth Trissel. Beth's newest story is Into the Lion’s Heart, a novella set in England during the French Revolution and the first story in The Wild Rose Press's Love Letters series. Here she talks about the French Revolution.

Welcome Beth!

Beth Trissel:

My fascination with the past and those who have gone before us is the ongoing inspiration behind my work. With my first English historical romance, Into the Lion’s Heart, I more deeply explored my British heritage. Set in 1789 England, the story opens with the hero, Captain Dalton Evans (fought in the American Revolution) journeying to Dover to meet the ship carrying a distant cousin, Mademoiselle Sophia Devereux, who’s fleeing the French Revolution. My research into the explosion across the English Channel in 1789 made me aware of how many French émigrés fled the country in waves the initial year of the revolution. Many were aristocrats, including the king’s own brothers, along with members of the clergy, and some of the more well-to-do commoners. Most all of the aristocrats who did not flee while they still could were guillotined during the subsequent reign of terror. I chose to set Into the Lion’s Heart during that first year while there’s a great deal erupting in France but before it gets utterly grim.

Among key events in 1789 that caused émigrés to flee France: July 17, the beginning of the Great Fear, the peasantry revolt against feudalism and a number of urban disturbances and revolts. Insurrection and the spirit of popular sovereignty spread throughout France. In rural areas, many went beyond this: some burned title-deeds and no small number of châteaux.

And then there’s the Women's March on Versailles, one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution. The march began among women in the marketplaces of Paris who, on the morning of 5 October 1789, were near rioting over the high price and scarcity of bread. Their demonstrations quickly became intertwined with the activities of revolutionaries who were seeking liberal political reforms and a constitutional monarchy for France. The market women and their various allies grew into a mob of thousands and, encouraged by revolutionary agitators, they ransacked the city armory for weapons and marched to the royal palace at Versailles. The crowd besieged the palace and in a violent confrontation successfully pressed their demands upon King Louis XVI. The next day, the crowd compelled the king, his family, and the entire French Assembly to return with them to Paris.”

King Louis XV1 and his queen Marie Antoinette never successfully escaped Paris and were later imprisoned and beheaded. From Women’s History: Reportedly planned by Marie Antoinette, the escape of the royal couple from Paris was stopped at Varennes on October 21, 1791. Imprisoned with the king, Marie Antoinette continued to plot. She hoped for foreign intervention to end the revolution and free the royal family. She urged her brother, the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, to intervene, and supported a declaration of war against Austria in April, 1792, which she hoped would result in the defeat of France. But it didn’t.

Blurb for INTO THE LION’S HEART: As the French Revolution rages, the English nobility offer sanctuary to many a refugee. Captain Dalton Evans arrives in Dover to meet a distant cousin, expecting to see a spoiled aristocrat. Instead, he's conquered by the simplicity of his new charge. And his best friend Thomas Archer isn't immune to her artless charm, either.

Cecile Beaumont didn't choose to travel across the Channel. And she certainly didn't expect that impersonating her own mistress would introduce her to a most mesmerizing man. Now she must play out the masquerade, or risk life, freedom – and her heart.

Into the Lion’s Heart is available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and other online booksellers.

For more on my work please visit my website: www.bethtrissel.com

My blog is the happening place: http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

12 comments:

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks for having me on your lovely blog, Linda.

Georgie Lee said...

The book sounds great. The French Revolution is such an interesting time to explore. It sent so many shockwaves through Europe that were felt for so many years.

Linda Banche said...

You're welcome, Beth. Come back any time.

Emery Lee said...

A Tale Of Two Cities is one of my all time favorite novels. This is a fascinating (if gruesome era)Yet, there appears to be a dearth of romances with pre-revolutionary settings. I'll look forward to reading this.

Nancy Means Wright said...

Your novella sounds fascinating, Beth. I will want to buy and read it! I, too, am researching the French Revolution for the third in my Mary Wollstonecraft series where lost her own head (metaphorically speaking!) You describe these events beautifully in your post.

Owen Heatwole said...

Ex-English teacher read and smiled!

Lynne Marshall said...

Beth, I am so in awe of your tackling this time period for your novel. I'm ashamed to admit that history overwhelms me, so reading about it in fiction as a back drop is a great way to make history more alive for me.

I commend you for tackling the tough topics and time periods. Best wishes for all good things!

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks all. I sometimes wish I'd make it easier on myself and stick to the same subject. :) But various fascinating time periods call.

catslady said...

If only they would have let us read romance stories to complement our history lessons I would have learned a lot more lol. What a better way to understand and enjoy what you'r reading at the same time. I now find it all fascinating and the more back in time the better. I've also aways said history is wasted on the young - I didn't have a clue what it all meant back in the day and now I can't get enough. Your books sound exactly the type of stories I now enjoy very much.

Beth Trissel said...

Excellent point, and thanks.

Cathie Dunn said...

Lovely post, Beth. I love the premise of your new novel. Looking forward to reading it.

Barbara Monajem said...

Hi, Beth! I became fascinated with the French Revolution after reading The Scarlet Pimpernel and just love reading more about it. :)