William Stearns Davis?? Anyone?? I found this book by accident, looking, looking, for something about, I don't know, the revolutionaries in the Revolution. The only copy I could find was a 1929 copy about to be tossed in a library. For 4 bucks, how bad could it be?
It's FABULOUS!! Rene Massac is a local gentry with noble ties who gives it all up for Virginie, the daughter of a Paris bourgoise. His family does not appreciate his fervor for Rousseau and the new ideal or for his unforgivable decision to marry Virginie. In a desperate attempt to keep the family name untainted by bourgoise blood, Rene's mother turns to none other than Queen Marie to help thwart the lovers. But Rene does not give up Virginie or his new friends Desmoulins, Danton, or St. Juste even after the king throws him into prison and the queen diverts his passions by sending him on an out of country mission. Of course, the Queen goes too far and actually has Virginie kidnapped. This is how far I've gotten. The King has just been over ruled, defied, and the bastille has been stormed. Rene cannot find Virginie and Danton is doing everything he can to intimidate the gendarmes into giving away her hiding place.
I love this book. I love it because Davis does what no one else does, gets into the twisting, dank alleys of Paris, into the cafes, names them, listens to the people as they march and plead, gives faces to St. Juste and Robspierre that are not pre-demonic. It's as close to being there as one could hope. I dearly hope that Rene and Virginie finally do find each other and can't wait to see how it happens.