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Showing 1-10 of 47 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 95 reviews
on February 25, 2014
This book was a gripping and an emotionally taxing account of the French Revolution and the French Royal Family. The brutality and animalistic blood thirst of the French people at the time is horrifying to read about. They saw the Royal family as symbols of wealth, greed and tyranny. This book will take you thru the accounts of this, but what I was most interested in was the particular story of the future Dauphin of France Louis Charles. Which this book is so wonderfully based on in reader-friendly detail. Reading about what this poor helpless child went thru after the death of his parents resorted me to tears and at times frustration and anger. The writer brings that jail to life and you can't help but feel the dread and terror alongside the characters. This is history at a most dreadful period and something I believe should be known and understood.
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on January 17, 2010
I decided to buy and read this book after reading Antonia Fraser's "Marie Antoinette: The Journey" (which I highly recommend, especially for reading prior to this book due to the history before her marriage and historical inaccuracies addressed). I wanted to know more about what became of Queen Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI's children after the French Revolution which was not addressed in "Marie Antoinette: The Journey". This was a great follow-up that addressed the lives of the young King Louis XVII and his older sister, Princess Marie-Therese (sorry I cannot reproduce the correct punctuation for her name)after their parent's executions. I was not disappointed. This is a thoroughly engrossing and impressive read. I could not put it down and read it in two days. The research and rich history combine to make a very good book. The final mtDNA testing draws the believable conclusion that the heir to France's throne did indeed die in the Tower as a result of unbelievable neglect, abuse and cruelty. Deborah Cadbury's historical findings of the 10 year-old's treatment and subsequent death while in the Tower is wrenching.

A satifying addition to this book is that it goes even further than only recounting the young dauphin/King Louis XVII's history, as the title suggests, by recounting Princess Marie-Therese's life after freedom from the Tower. Subjected to imposters claiming they were her long-lost brother, a loveless and childless marriage, living in exile and haunting memories of her treatment at the hands of her captors made for an unenviable existance. Yet, she still persevered in the face of an uncertain future and lingering memories that effected her for the rest of her life.

This book has inspired me to look further into the history of Marie-Antoinette, an intention I did not have previously. The next reading will be "Memoirs of the Private Life of Marie Antoinette" by Jeanne Louise Henriette Campan, her lady-in-waiting.
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on August 16, 2017
Took me to a place in history which I was only familiar with through historical fiction books I have read. Very good.
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on April 15, 2007
During the French Revolution Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI both lost their heads for their "crimes" against France. Their two surviving children however were still held captive in the prison that the family had been staying at since they were caught trying to flee to Austria.

Marie Antoinette's daughter Marie Teresa was relatively lucky and managed to make it out of the grasps of the Revolutionaries and ended up getting married. Her younger brother Louis Charles was not so lucky however.

The Revolutionaries treated him like an animal. At first the Revolutionaries used him as a pawn to get evidence so that they could kill his mother (saying that she had molested him) as well as other gruesome things. The Revolutionaries also kept him in deplorable conditions which made him sick and die.

This may have been an ending to the sad tale of Louis XVI and his family except that over the years rumors circulated that somebody had snuck the real Dauphine out of the prison and the boy that died was not Louis XVII. This led to many people all over the world to say that they were Louis XVII, which the book goes into detail of the most interesting.

200 years on people where no closer to figuring out the mystery when they decided to do DNA testing on a heart. When the boy in the prison died somebody cut his heart out to be placed with the rest of the hearts of Kings at St. Denis. DNA researchers then tested this heart with hairs that they had found of Marie Antoinette's sisters. What did the DNA Test reveal? Who was the boy in the prison? Where the pretenders telling the truth? Read The Lost King of France-a very interesting book!
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on January 3, 2016
Fascinating and detailed. Hard to put down. Though it really does make one loathe the excesses and cruelties of the French Revolution!
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on April 15, 2011
Based on the title "How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette" I thought the book would be more on finding the DNA and comparing it. However reading the introduction I realized that someone wouldn't need a whole book to just write on that subject. An article would do fine. And so at the very end of the book in the last chapter, the DNA information gets into detail. The rest of the book is historical information on Louis XVII and his sister and parents especially while they were imprisoned. I had no idea about the situation of Louis XVII's death and I was really horrified and shocked. Being a sensitive person I kinda wish I hadn't read it in that detail. However the writing style was excellent and the book was well researched.
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on December 15, 2010
After reading the new historical fiction novel, Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly, I wanted to research more about the French Revolution, and especially the story of the boy king, son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. This book was the perfect choice. I was captivated from page one. The research that went into this book is huge. And the DNA explanation is superb. I always tell my students, "You couldn't make up stories any more bizarre than real history."
If you want to read an historically correct and totally readable text about a remarkable time in French history, you can't beat this book. I have been to France many times, but when I go back in April I will have a totally new perspective. As I retrace some of the sites I've visited before, I will experience them with new eyes.
Also, I loved having the pictures included in the book. Loved it start to finish.
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on July 9, 2015
I bought this in paperback but even though the book was great, the print was too small. Finally got it on my Kindle and read it in two days. Last Sunday I rented a Amazon Fire Video on Marie Antonette. In the video it showed the Dauphin'sheart in the jar.
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on July 8, 2005
Excellent book. This book goes into great detail about the personal lives of Louis XV1, Marie Antoinette and their children. It is quite easy to find information on the King and Queen, but I have never been able to find out much about their children, especially the ill-fated Dauphin. This book does a good job of filling that gap by going into detail on the treatment that Louis Charles received at the hands of revolutionaries and his tragic death from neglect. People who are interested in DNA will also find the story of the young Dauphin's heart and the forensic evidence obtained from it extremely interesting.Scientists were able to prove that the heart was definitely from the child of Marie Antoinette. I remember reading in a newspaper years ago that DNA studies proved that the heart was from the son of Marie Antoinette but that the father was not Louis XV1, but rather the Queen's lover. I wish that the author had discussed this, but it wasn't mentioned at all. Other than that, I highly recommend this book.
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on April 8, 2014
This book was extremely well researched on the very short life of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's son, Louis XVII. If you enjoy reading about the French Revolution and the downfall of the monarchy, this book offers some fascinating tid bits from that period. It especially focuses on the horrible treatment and suffering that the ten year old Louis had to endure in the Temple before his death as well as the many impostors who claimed to be Louis XVII years after the French Revolution.
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