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Publisher's Summary

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' 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?

©2002 Deborah Cadbury (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about The Lost King of France

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Not For the Faint of Heart

Extremely detailed story illustrating what happens when mobs rule. It may have happened a long time ago, but it should break your heart. Be forewarned: the subtitle is a little misleading because it will be a long time before you get to the DNA part, and along the way you will hear every excruciating detail of what little Louis-Charles suffered. Well read by Jennifer Dixon.

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If you love history, read this book!

I absolutely loved this book. I am so amazed at the story and how many pretenders came forward over the years. This truly proves that truth is stranger than fiction.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting with flaws

Part I was downright depressing. I do not know if, as has been claimed elsewhere, that the author is an ardent royalist. I rather doubt it but she has indeed taken care to squeeze out the last depressing details of the lives of Louis XVI and his unfortunate family. The story got depressing to the point that I would find excuses not to listen to it and yet in a macabre sort of way felt compelled to listen on Part II was much better and indeed the reason that I had bought the audiobook in the first place. Interesting to say the least. Truth as they say is indeed stranger than fiction. I thought the performance was very dry. Bit of a monotone droning on and on about the endless travails of the captives but I suppose it may have been the subject matter being read and she honestly couldn’t do better In summary, this is neither one of the best nor one of the worst books in my audiobook library

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Perfection

This book is beautifully detailed, well documented, absorbing, and masterfully read. I loved and lived every moment of this delicious read.

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Superb storytelling and narration!

A fascinating and detailed account of the French Revolution. Places you right there in Paris in 1789. Excellent narration!