The French Bride – by Evelyn Anthony – independent book review – Historical Fiction (France)

I put this one in the category of good “beach read.” Fast moving plot with some romance. Awarded three stars on Goodreads.

french_brideThe setting is Versailles in the later years of the rule of French King Louis XV and his mistress, Madame du Barry. The son of Scottish emigres living off the largesse of the lavish court, Charles MacDonald (this novel is part of a two-book series called The MacDonald Romances) is a wastrel. Young and handsome, he is also self-absorbed, cruel, a womanizer and a gambler. But when he approaches his parents, again, to pay off his latest debts, this time they insist that they will help ONLY if he marries his wealthy cousin Anne and reclaims their lost ancestral holdings in Scotland. Charles agrees, resentfully, much to the distress of his current mistress Louise.

I chose this book because I have read and enjoyed many of the historical novels by British writer Evelyn Anthony, (Victoria and Albert, Anne Boleyn, the Romanov Trilogy). This one however disappointed.

Written in 1964, it’s difficult to read in an era of #MeToo. It’s one of those stories where women enjoy being treated badly. Multiple women fall madly in love with a man who abuses them, insults them publicly, and tramples on their feelings — ostensibly because he’s good in bed. It just does not sit well with this feminist.

Evelyn Anthony (1928-2018)

More about the author.

You may be interested in my reviews of other novels by Anthony:

Curse Not the King

Far Flies the Eagle