Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution

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9780060822217: Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution

For fans of Tracy Chevalier and Sarah Dunant comes this vibrant, alluring debut novel of a compelling, independent woman who would inspire one of the world's greatest poets and survive a nation's bloody transformation.

Set amid the terror and excitement of the French Revolution, James Tipton's evocative novel is the story of a woman who has for too long been relegated to the shadows of history: Annette Vallon, William Wordsworth's mistress and muse.

Born into a world of wealth and pleasure, Annette enjoys the privileges of aristocracy, but a burning curiosity and headstrong independence set her apart. Spoiled by the novels of Rousseau, she refuses to be married unless it is for passion. Yet the love she finds with a young English poet will test Annette in unexpected ways, bringing great joy and danger in a time of terror and death.

Told in sparking prose, Annette Vallon captures the courage and fearlessness of a woman whose dramatic story illuminates a turbulent and fascinating era.

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About the Author:

James Tipton holds a Ph.D. in English literature and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives with his family.

From Publishers Weekly:

Inspired by English poet William Wordsworth's continental romance on the eve of the French Revolution, Tipton's debut novel depicts the poet's lover, Annette Vallon (1766–1841), as a Loire Valley Scarlet Pimpernel. History records Wordsworth met Vallon while in France, departed for England when the revolution darkened, but came back to see her and their daughter, Caroline (born in 1792), even after he proposed marriage to an Englishwoman. Tipton begins this fictional account with 16–year-old Annette listening to her father and Thomas Jefferson discuss wine. Six years later, her virtue lost to a dance tutor and her father killed in a grain riot, Annette falls in love with the then unknown English poet. Their idyllic interlude inspires his best work, but soon his political associations place him in danger, forcing him to flee with Annette's help. Pregnant and on her own, Annette recalls early training in hunting and horsemanship to survive the Reign of Terror and beyond, with Caroline in tow. Tipton's descriptions, à la Tracy Chevalier, of how masterpieces are created alternate with the spirited heroine's adventures, making for an uneasy balance, but Annette—and those who help her along the way—are believable in their struggles through the best and the worst of times. (Nov.)
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