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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic popular history, December 5, 2003
This review is from: The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
This is as readable as any historical novel and far more interesting. Cadbury brings the shadowy image of Marie Antoinette's children fully to life with detail and emotional depth. Unlike most books on this topic, the parents are moved firmly to the background, coming forward only to illustrate their influence on the children and their lives. I learned more in this fast paced enjoyable read than I have in half a dozen 'scholarly' books on the period. The Lost King's resolution may not surprise you, but it's a rewarding read that immerses you as fully as an epic film. One of the finest histories I've read on any subject and more emotionally affecting than most fiction. You will not be able to forget this family or view them in the same fashion again. A true must read.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If it were longer and the same it would be 5 stars for me, January 20, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
This book provides what Antonia Frazer's biography of Marie Antoinette does not -- more about the children, more about the aftermath of Marie Antoinette's death. I thought this book would repeat much of Frazer's but, in fact, it enriches Frazer's work. And, except for some melodramatic flourishes, I think it is better written. Though I usually read 2 or 3 books at a time and can easily jump from one to the other, I could not put this book down until I finished it.
I wish there had been more to this volume. The DNA passages sometimes feel 'padded' and the 'mystery' element seems somewhat contrived. Who cares! It was so engrossing that I neglected everything this afternoon so that I could finish this book.
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74 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Injustice of the French Revoluton, January 2, 2006
This review is from: The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
Whenever I hear people speaking of the "triumph" or "glory" of the French Revolution I want to scream! There was nothing wonderful about these horrible years that ruined France. The greatest proof is in how cruelly they treated the Royal Family. I have read numerous books on the French Revolution, but this one seems to give the most personal insight into what the conditions in the Temple prison were like for Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Princess Marie-Therese, but most especially, the horribly inhuman indignities inflicted upon the poor dauphin, Louis-Charles, King Louis XVII. It is sad to see how people could be so cruel, and to see what injustices were inflicted on a seven-year-old boy in the name of justice. Far more than finally solving the mystery of Louis XVII, it also gives a vividly clear insight into where the revolution went wrong, and of how evil will eventually destroy itself. A history and a "whodunit" rolled into one - I couldn't put it down! Marvelous - and sad - reading!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Gripping!, November 23, 2004
By 
L. F. Anderton (Falls Church, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
I actually have one more chapter to go, but this book is truly extraordinary. Cadbury is one of those writers who doesn't waste a single word. In other words, every sentence, every bit of information she gives is necessary. She's a great writer who makes the story of the poor Capet family (Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and their children -- including the unfortunate Louis-Charles) come to life. You really feel as though you were there! Unfortunately, what happens to Louis Charles while a young boy in prison is depressing and hard to read, but the entire book is so outstanding, you cannot put it down!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Highly Readable, June 14, 2006
By 
Boufflers63 (Washington, D.C.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
Deborah Cadbury has done us all a favor in writing about a familiar subject, but breathing new life into it. Instead of the brief story of Louis XVII's mysterious death in 1795, the book recounts the period between 1770, when Marie Antoinette arrived in France, to the Revolution and Restoration in 1789 and 1814 and the DNA tests of the modern era.

The book is extremely well written; it's as if you're reading a history novel. Little details most authors would overlook are included, adding to the enjoyment of learning even more about this interesting and truly revolutionary period and story.

The one fault I have with the book is that its take on the DNA extracting process from the purported heart of Louis XVII is a little dry. Granted, one of Cadbury's specialties is science nd it is an important part of the story of Louis XVII's fate. I guess I was more into the history.

After the dauphin's mysterious death in 1795, the reader is introduced to the long list of pretenders to the French throne. The infamous Karl Naundorff is included, as is the less familiar Jean Marie Hervagault, among others. Again, the book really does a good job of covering all the history, including the details. It's ideal for anyone interested in European history, science, the Bourbons, or just a good book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A haunting, tragic tale............, November 25, 2003
By 
bella "ladymayfair" (VIRGINIA BEACH, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
This was the best history lesson ! I actually felt as if I were transported to the 18th century as I read this . So many of the stories about the revolution dehumanize the royal family, or focus entirely on Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette , with very little thought to their final days, or of their children . The Lost King Of France , includes the painful, memoirs of Princess Marie-Therese , (Louis and Marie-Antoinette's oldest child) , a witness to the full horrors of the revolution , and the fate of her brother Louis XVII . The mystery of Louis's fate , far surpasses the saga of Russia's Anastasia , and I was on the edge of my seat until the final page ! I gave it 4 stars because of the grainy , black and white photos , and that is the only reason I did not give it 5 stars . This is such an absorbing tale of one of the youngest victim of the revolution, a definite page turner!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couriosity Satisfied, September 21, 2005
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This review is from: The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
My daughter and I bought this book and we both thought it well done, enjoyable and very interesting. It is a facinating read for lovers of French history.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, December 29, 2003
By 
Tansy Rhein (Portland, Oregon USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
I could not put this book down! I can't wait for Deborah Cadbury to write another history!! Even though I knew what "the outcome" would be .... I was "on the edge of my seat" the whole way through! A VERY fun read that also taught me a lot about this period of history.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, June 27, 2006
This review is from: The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
Just want to add my praise. Cadbury's compelling writing adds to the already enthralling story. One of the best books I've read in a long time. Beautifully researched and organized. Great history, yet it rivals the best of fiction.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book!, August 21, 2005
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This review is from: The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
I've been amazed while reading this book. We are living in times much like the French Revolution. A scapegoat has been chosen, and the media and the citizens are focused on bringing him down, while ignoring the real problems.

This book is brilliant reading, and very timely.
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The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
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