Alexandre Dumas’ THE QUEEN’S NECKLACE is a riveting historical fiction novel loosely based a scandalous crime involving one of the most famous women in French history: Marie Antoinette.
One of the most famous French writers of all time, Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870) is best known for his historical fiction novels The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. He is considered to have brought the historical novel back into fashion in nineteenth century France through his adventurous blends of fiction and history. After initial success as a playwright, Dumas soon turned to novel writing and eventually went on to produce hundreds of books. Unsurprisingly, Dumas carried over his skills as a playwright into his prose. In addition to novels, Dumas wrote numerous stories, travelogues, and eight volumes of essays on some of the most famous crimes in history.
“[Dumas] was the most generous, large-hearted being in the world. He also was the most delightfully amusing and egotistical creature on the face of the earth. His tongue was like a windmill – once set in motion, you never knew when he would stop, especially if the theme was himself.” —Watts Phillips
Dumas’ legacy went beyond his own work too. His son, Alexandre Dumas fils was also a writer, and best known for The Lady of the Camellias (which served as inspiration for the film Moulin Rouge!). Dumas père‘s works have also been adapted into films. In fact, hundreds of films inspired by his works.
And, of course, Skyboat Media and Blackstone Publishing are thrilled to continue the tradition and bring this literary classic to audio in the twenty-first century. As he recorded THE QUEEN’S NECKLACE (one of eight books in the Marie Antoinette Romances), narrator extraordinaire Stefan Rudnicki reveled in Dumas’s “extraordinarily vivid characters and brilliant dialogue.”
In THE QUEEN’S NECKLACE Alexandre Dumas takes on Marie Antoinette.
In 1785, a leading Catholic cardinal stood accused of forging the queen’s signature to obtain the most expensive piece of jewelry in Europe: a 2,800-carat diamond necklace. On the cusp of revolution, it seems that just about anything might fuel the fire of freedom and resistance under the feet of the French public.
When the Affair of the Diamond Necklace comes to trial, it proves to be one of the final dominoes in the fall of the French monarchy. The handling of the theft and fraud added weight to Marie Antoinette’s reputation of being frivolous and without morals, and to Louis XVI’s reputation of being a weak, ineffective king.
“He who, after a day without suffering, when millions of his fellow creatures are enduring dreadful privations, throws himself on his bed of down, between his fine and well-aired sheets, may find out that all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds. But he who is hungry sees none of these beauties of nature; he who is cold hates the sky without a sun, and consequently without a smile for such unfortunates. Now, at the time at which we write… three hundred thousand miserable beings, dying from cold and hunger, groaned in Paris alone—in that Paris where, in spite of the boast that scarcely another city contained so many rich people, nothing had been prepared to prevent the poor from perishing of cold and wretchedness.”
—Alexandre Dumas, The Queen’s Necklace
THE QUEEN’S NECKLACE (The Marie Antoinette Romances) by Alexandre Dumas
Read by Stefan Rudnicki
In 1785, a sensational trial began in Paris that would divide the country and captivate Europe. A leading Catholic cardinal and scion of one of the most distinguished families in France stood accused of forging the queen’s signature to obtain the most expensive piece of jewelry in Europe: a 2,800-carat diamond necklace. Known as the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, it contributed to the French populace’s disillusionment with the monarchy and precipitated the French Revolution.
The Queen’s Necklace, loosely based on the Affair, is Alexandre Dumas’s take on the royal scandal. Originally serialized in the French newspaper La Presse in 1849-1850 (immediately following the French Revolution of 1848), The Queen’s Necklace is an epic tale of love and courage, hatred and betrayal with a missing diamond necklace, an accused queen, a daring manipulator, love-struck youth, royal revenge and ecclesiastical machinations all playing out against the backdrop of the rising discontent among the French rabble. It is, in short, a thrilling tale by a master of historical fiction.