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The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette Paperback – Oct 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl; Reprint edition (Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312320299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312320294
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,230,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

[ [ The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette[ THE LOST KING OF FRANCE: HOW DNA SOLVED THE MYSTERY OF THE MURDERED SON OF LOUIS XVI AND MARIE ANTOINETTE ] By Cadbury, Deborah ( Author )Oct-23-2003 Paperback ] ] By Cadbury, Deborah ( Author ) Oct - 2003 [ Paperback ]

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
This well written and compelling work of non-fiction recounts the political events that led up to the French Revolution and the tragedy that befell the royal family, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their two living children, the Louis-Charles and Marie-Therese. It gives insight into just how the royal family was treated after the revolutionists were in charge.

The book details the terms of their imprisonment in Temple Tower. It is almost hard to believe the cruelty with which they were met. The heartbreak of the King and Queen is palpable as they realized what fate had in store for them. Moreover, their fear for the fate of their children must have been an incalculable agony, piercing the heart and soul of the King and Queen.

While the indignities imposed upon the King and Queen were insufferable, once the royal couple met their fate at the guillotine, what was done to the now eight year old King Louis XVII was downright cruel and inhuman. Barbaric beyond belief, his treatment was nothing short of shocking. While his thirteen year old sister was also cruelly treated, her experience paled in comparison to that of her once happy and cherubic little brother.

When Louis XVII was declared dead two years later, the fact that there was no marked grave sparked rumors that the he had escaped and was still among the living. Over the years, many came forward claiming to be the lost King of France. It was not until the twenty-first century that the mystery was laid to rest, thanks to DNA testing and a heart purported to be that of Louis XVII.

This is a fascinating, well-researched book that will keep the reader turning the pages. Bravo!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 47 reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic popular history 5 Dec. 2003
By E. A. Montgomery - Published on Amazon.com
Format: 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.
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
If it were longer and the same it would be 5 stars for me 21 Jan. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: 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.
74 of 88 people found the following review helpful
The Injustice of the French Revoluton 3 Jan. 2006
By A. Carrozza - Published on Amazon.com
Format: 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!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely Gripping! 23 Nov. 2004
By L. F. Anderton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: 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!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Interesting and Highly Readable 15 Jun. 2006
By Boufflers63 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: 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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