Serious historical fiction fans, your life just got more exciting: New Yorker contributor, memoirist, novelist and historian Francine du Plessix Gray has taken on the ultimate challenge. The Queen’s Lover (Penguin Press) arrives on June 14, and will tell the story of Marie Antoinette as framed by her relationship with Swedish nobleman Count Axel von Fersen, a man she first befriends early in her reign. Their relationship—and their swiftly changing statuses as turmoil rocks the country they have both come to love—personalizes the transformation of European culture during that exhilarating, terrifying era.
Du Plessix Gray’s impressive resume when it comes to genetic, cultural and intellectual credentials is too lengthy to quote in full—check out her memoir, Them, for the scoop—but she’s written biographies of Madame de Stael, Simone Weil and the Marquis de Sade; her mother was a fashion designer and her father a French vicomte, so she certainly has the chops to do the topic justice.
Will you read it? Is there a historical figure you’d like to see have their story told in fiction? Anyone you think is overexposed? (Can we quit with the Tudors already?!?)