Read Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution by James Tipton Online


Born into a world of wealth and pleasure, Annette Vallon enjoys the privileges of aristocracy, but a burning curiosity and headstrong independence set her apart from other women of her class. Spoiled by the novels of Rousseau, she refuses to be married unless it is for passion. Her stubborn devotion to her romantic principles bears the sweetest fruit when William WordswortBorn into a world of wealth and pleasure, Annette Vallon enjoys the privileges of aristocracy, but a burning curiosity and headstrong independence set her apart from other women of her class. Spoiled by the novels of Rousseau, she refuses to be married unless it is for passion. Her stubborn devotion to her romantic principles bears the sweetest fruit when William Wordsworth, a young English poet, enters her life. She will be his mistress, his muse, his obsession. But theirs is a love that will test Annette in unexpected ways, bringing great joy and gravest peril in a dark time of chaos, upheaval, and death.Set amid the terror and excitement of the French Revolution, Annette Vallon is an enthralling and evocative tale that captures the courageous spirit of a remarkable woman who, for too long, has been relegated to the shadows of history....

Title : Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060822224
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 481 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution Reviews

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2019-04-15 00:59

    This book was just charming. I was simply enchanted by the romance between Vallon and Wordsworth, not to mention blown away by Annette's bravery equating her to a French Harriet Tubman. This novel gave me a whole new perspective on the French Revolution and how the majority of the country's population was affected.

  • Eric Shaffer
    2019-04-15 23:27

    Read this book sentence by sentence with both eyes wide open for maximum pleasure. Savor the contemporary political subtext. Ah, delicious.

  • Katie
    2019-03-31 19:07

    Annette Vallon by James Tipton is thoroughly delightful--start to finish. The story of Annette Vallon is one already wrapped in mystery and intrigue. One country wants to honor her efforts for the crown while the another wants to deny her very existance. She is the beautiful mistress of William Wordsworth, and an activist. And then James Tipton puts all of it into context. He fleshes out the heroine wonderfully, giving her a spirit that jumps off the pages. The story takes place during the Revolutions of France up until the early 1800s. It follows her encounters with Wordsworth, their developing romance, and their government intrigues. The plot is a cross of history with romance, adventure, suspense, and just a hint of poetry. Everything fantastic about literature has been put into this novel.I began reading this story after having first heard of Annette Vallon in one of my English classes. I am a great fan of Wordsworth, and was interested to find out about his affair with a French woman during a time of such political strain. What interested me more was how dismissive my professor was of this French beauty. I came to learn that most English are disdainful of Ms. Vallon because of her supposed influence over Wordsworth's poetry. Especially since her significance was not discovered until after their deaths. Their correspondences were found, having been confiscated by Citizens concerened about the number of letters being sent to and from England by Annette. Tipton creatively explores this hidden relationship, giving it the freedom that it longed for. Fans and haters of Wordsworth alike will love the woman that started it all.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-25 19:06

    This book was so good that I am going through withdrawls!! ...The same withdrawls as when I finished the Harry Potter series. After renting it from the library, this amazing historical novel is soon going to be added to my own library because I want to read it at least a few more times. I wanted to start it over again right when I finished it. It takes place over 22 years of the French Revolution and although that sounds like an epic, it is not that drawn out. The fact that I learned so much coupled with falling in love with the poetry of life and unrequited love all over again is priceless. This male author crafted a wonderful heroine and it was well researched. I have a whole new appreciation for the horrors of France's past and the political fury of democratic people. If you are into sweet love stories, independent women, a bit of adventure, and history, this book is for you!

  • Kelly
    2019-03-30 20:02

    4.5 stars. This is a very good piece of historical fiction. I heard one reviewer compare the writing to Phillippa Gregory's....I did not find that to be the case at all. I like her books, but don't feel they are nearly as historically meticulous as this one. Annette Vallon was the lover of William Wordsworth during the French Revolution. I don't want to be a spoiler so I'll be vague here - Annette's activities over a period of a decade (or more) started to seem completely unbelievable to me as I neared the end of the book, but after I read the "History behind the story" section at the end, I was amazed to find that it was true! What an amazing woman...if I had lived in France during that time period, I would hope I could have been as brave as she was!

  • Annette
    2019-03-27 21:10

    Annette Vallon was the daughter of a physician. Her siblings were Marguerite, Etienne, and Angelique. The novel begins in 1785. Annette was sixteen and had just finished convent school. Her mother is in negotiations of arraigning a marriage. A music and dance instructor is hired for Annette. He is a rogue and Annette becomes a casualty. In 1789 Annette made a statement of belief that "the French Revolution began over bread". Rioting begins, uprisings, murders, looting, civil unrest. There are three estates: The third estate meant all French except clergy and nobles. Annette's family is apart of the third estate. During this period the young English poet William Wordsworth came to France. It was at a ball that he and Annette met. She could not pronounce his last name, she did notice his glowing sharp blue eyes. Their "epic" affair would be the theme of this novel. The French Revolution is the backdrop, a large backdrop, but it is the affair, and Annette's love for William that would be the crown. Positive Points: Annette was not apart of the first or second estates, she was apart of the third estate. Being apart of the third estate Annette was more identifiable with the people of France. I consider her in what would be called upper middle class, but of all the books I've read thus far of the French Revolution she is a character that was closest to the everyday people because she had more contact with them. Annette' character was an introspective person. She was a keen observer. She had a quiet strength. She was brave, daring and bold in helping others. She was self-sacrificing, firm of purpose, devoted, committed, loyal. I consider her a heroine.Annette and William's affair was not a tryst, or casual agreement of sex. It was an epic love that continues on in his poetry.I needed a box of Kleenex near me while reading the book----the story affected me emotionally (a rarity). This novel is written by a man from the perspective and about a woman. He did a splendid job!Negative Points: This is a work of fiction, history knows little about Annette Vallon. There were a couple of letters found that she'd written that gave indications of their love affair. Other information has also been found about their relationship and about her work during the Revolution. The author did take liberties in writing this historical fiction story. I knew when I began the novel that it was a work of fiction, based on a scant amount of fact. Other reviewers may find such a scant amount of information unreliable and the authors liberty in writing this novel inappropriate. Remember it is a work of fiction.

  • Margaret
    2019-04-21 00:23

    Annette Vallon has been marketed as a historical novel about English poet William Wordsworth’s youthful love affair. But Tipton’s book is about Annette, a remarkable woman who made of herself much more than a famous poet’s early muse. And it is about the French Revolution, including the Reign of Terror, which shaped her destiny. Daughter of a respected physician from Blois, France, Marie Anne Vallon, known as Annette, spent her childhood in the final bloom of the French bourgeoisie. She wore silk dresses and attended elegant parties at aristocratic chateaux in the Loire River valley. As a young woman she succumbed to a charming English poet’s desire for a “nature marriage” in accordance with his own religious views. She always believed they were married, because William Wordsworth promised to go with her to a priest for a Church marriage, in accordance with her own religious views. He was forced to flee the Revolution before they could act on that promise. Annette remained in France to become acquainted with “The Mother of Orleans” who hid refugees from the Reign of Terror in secret rooms, and crawled through a crypt to free prisoners condemned to the guillotine. She became acquainted as well with “The Fearless Blonde Chouane of Blois” who created a forest sanctuary where refugees could receive fresh water and food; and who rescued innocent peasants from the “cargo” barges that would have drowned them without a trace in her beloved Loire River.Despite all her trials, and by author Tipton’s remarkable skill throughout her first person narrative, Annette never lost her quintessential French subtlety. About Queen Marie Antoinette’s tragic end, she says: “Hebert wanted her head as his own political trophy. When he himself mounted the scaffold six months later, his screams were far different than the quiet dignity with which Antoinette lightly stepped up on onto it. Perhaps they both knew where they were soon bound.” (Tipton, p. 392).She even preserved the joie de vivre that was her birthright. At every stage of a difficult life, Annette delighted in her forests, her river, her daughter, her garden and her friends.The author's luscious language and masterful pace with exciting action made this book a delight to read. His descriptions of events in the French Revolution are accurate and realistic without overwhelming the reader. Annette Vallon resonates with metaphors and lessons for contemporary times.

  • Jacqueline
    2019-04-20 18:22

    The half-page preface, evocative and elegiac, is by far the most powerful writing in the book. In it, we meet an older Annette Vallon on Jan. 4, 1821, sitting in front of three diaries, remembering things past. "My memories remain fresh and cool. I remember the feel of a silk sleeve on my skin, the lightness of taffeta when I danced, and the big riding cloak when I could feel the reassuring weight of a pistol in each pocket. ... I loved a young poet then."James Tipton’s Annette Vallon must be savored sentence by sentence. The novel is founded on history, but extra-literary: a tale recounting events in William Wordsworth’s life as recorded in the letters of the poet and his lover Vallon. A poet himself, Tipton instills poetry in a tale that seems to follow faithfully the events of those lives. His prose is appropriately and constantly lyrical; the force of the poetic line appears throughout, a fact that propels a long, complex story without slackening for nearly five hundred pages. "Be careful, reader: my troubles started because I read novels." A warning is given, but don't heed it. Tipton goes on to provide so many beautiful descriptions of a courageous life that was not always beautiful that I don't know where to start! Reading this book painted so many scenes to cherish. I will read it again simply for the words!

  • Amy (mrsAmy#s)
    2019-04-01 20:26

    This book is really 3.5 stars for me. I liked it, but it didn't grab me. Annette is a very strong woman for her time period. She's captivating and fun to read about. But although the summary of the book might make you believe this is a love story with the poet William Wordsworth, it's really not- it's merely one part of Annette's adventurous and passionate life (although it actually did make me want to go read some Wordsworth poems). However, this might be a benefit and not a disadvantage- Annette doesn't let a relationship define her life- she's able to stand on her own.My one complaint is that I'm not sure I entirely believed Annette's "voice" was an 18th century voice- a lot of the writing felt more modern to me. I wasn't always convinced she would say the things she said or do the things she did. Nonetheless, she was an interesting central character. And I loved her relationship to her siblings.

  • Christina
    2019-04-25 01:21

    One of the problems with Annette Vallon is you care more about what’s going on around her rather than to her. The French Revolution was an interestingly volatile time, but Annette Vallon is written so that it’s hard to distinguish whether it’s just historical fiction or a romance novel placed in historical times. Whenever Wordsworth reappears, the true historical aspect of this novel, that is the action and details of the French Revolution, dry up. One must also have quite a bit of patience as this novel could have easily been trimed up if the lenghty, unnecessary discriptions were shortened.It’s still an interesting read; very little is known about Annette {therefore, many, many liberties are taken} and William Wordsworth is such an enigma. Yet, Annette Vallon leaves you only caring about whether or not she winds up happy and with William, and the book overall is very anti-climatic.

  • Tracy Laverty
    2019-03-28 21:01

    I loved Annette's strong character in this story of the French Revolution. Beautifully written

  • Lisa
    2019-04-13 23:17

    BEWARE OF SPOILERS BELOW!Annette Vallon is a beautifully written story of the lifelong love between the English poet William Wordsworth and the eponymous French aristocrat who becomes his lover and muse. As their romance along the Loire River blossoms into a great passion and exquisite love, William’s poetry flourishes under the beauty of his connection with Annette. Author James Tipton uses Wordsworth’s poetry and devotion to nature to create a magical setting for their love to grow, and the serenity of his riverside walks with Annette sets a striking contrast with the chaos of the French Revolution that forms the backdrop of the novel. The Reign of Terror forces William back to England, and throughout their heartbreaking separation, Annette proves to be a spirited and courageous young woman. She adjusts to life as part of the fallen aristocracy, raises their illegitimate daughter alone and secretly takes on the persona of the “Blonde Chouanne,” a masked counterrevolutionary who develops a reputation for her daring dead-of-night exploits to rescue imprisoned aristocrats. Annette Vallon is a little known historical figure who was a lifelong inspiration for William Wordsworth. This lyrical novel uses lovely prose to bring Annette to life and show readers how his love and passion for this brave and idealistic woman helped William Wordsworth develop into the celebrated poet he became. Annette and William’s story stayed with me long after I finished the book.

  • Katie Hanrahan
    2019-04-18 22:06

    Little is known of the real Annette Vallon, and therein lies all the room that James Tipton needed to write an intriguing novel. The story is more fiction than history, often requiring a reader to suspend disbelief at the fictional Annette Vallon's activities as a counter-revolutionary. Her own life in the French provinces was likely a dull time, but that doesn't make for much of a page-turner.The author weaves the historical story of poet William Wordsworth and his French lover into the novel. Those looking for an accurate depiction of an affair that lacks documentation will be disappointed. The novel is more of a well-constructed yarn than slavish devotion to known facts. It will not inform the reader about the actual affair between an ordinary French woman and a budding poetic genius but does entertain.

  • Anne
    2019-04-22 20:27

    This historical fiction is about the relationship of William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon, the French woman he met on a stay there during the French Revolution and had a child with. I had always known her as a romantic footnote to this august poet's life. I am a big Wordsworth fan and enjoy reading the young Wordsworth. It was slow going at first, but I am now absorbed and eager to return to its pages tonight.

  • J. Morgyn
    2019-04-03 19:24

    Enchanting. I'd be more than happy to read another novel by this author. It was a seamless blend of history and life with a historically based romance underlying the plot. Not knowing how the Vallon/Wordsworth romance ended, I was captivated until the end. Very enjoyable.

  • Mia
    2019-03-29 21:12

    Historical fiction set in the French Revolution... based loosely upon the life of Wordsworth, a love story with a strong heroine.

  • Daisy
    2019-04-07 01:04

    Don't bother reading this. It was dreadful and I barely skimmed the end. What a waste of time.

  • Ali
    2019-04-01 23:08

    I've read a number of fictionalizations of the French Revolution but I think this one is my favorite. It's the story of Annette Vallon, muse and lover of William Wordsworth, whose poetry I remember reading in Brit lit and thinking he wasn't the worst of that era. Annette has been long dismissed by biographers as silly and kind of a floozy but the French know her quite differently, as someone who repeatedly aided those escaping the Terror. The book was immediately engaging and if you're at all interested in this era, I highly recommend this one.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-09 00:10

    Interesting take on the French Revolution and the suffering of many innocents

  • Jess
    2019-04-12 22:19

    Where the possibility of beauty existing in such terrifying, depraved times of the French Revolution seems quite impossible to us in this day and age, Annette Vallon conveys quite the contrary.The historical backdrop is thrilling and tragic in a way you could never really read in a text book - as Tipton creates real, alive characters to meet these tumultuous times of unceasing wars and violence and suspicion and ideology bathed by the horrific blood of the Guillotine and the countless young men who have died for la patrie . To feel a Count's pain, not as an aristocrat - a lifeless, generalised representation during the revolution that labels all as evil, selfish royalists who could not care less for the oppressed sans-culottes - but rather as man, a human, who he watches helplessly as his home is robbed and taken away from him in front of his very eyes by the people who once served under him - is immeasurable. To feel the fear and shock as your former childhood friend gushing of the latest wig she has got from Paris, taken from some guillotined victim's head. And by the end of it all, the caprices of humanity satiated as "the ones who loved to call themselves patriots, who had exulted over executions and had been intoxicated, insatiably, by them, slowly grew tired of head after head falling into the wicker baskets on the scaffolds of France" or the end of Robespierre, the Incorruptible himself, as was ominously said of the revolution that "devoured its own children" depicted as "Robespierre, already wounded in the jaw from an attempted suicide, screamed in pain when they ripped off his bandage so his head could fit in the guillotine". Put simply, it's only through a novel that you could truly feel the true terror of so-named "Reign of Terror". However, the book IS rather anti-climatic and has a very terrible, loosely tied off ending so if you've picked it up for a light, romantic story back in time, you'll probably be sincerely disappointed. I'm not sure if this is to be attributed to that fact that this is written by a male author in a female perspective and in that capacity, he does the female psych injustice. I mean, seriously, the girl waited 10 years for this guy she's been in love with and then he comes back to tell her he's marrying someone else. You'd expect a little bit more reaction than meek acceptance that Annette, the fearless, independent Blonde Chouan of Blois was written off with. I'm aware that this is what happened in the true story and William Wordsworth did remarry but Tipton was still writing at liberty - Annette's reaction and it could have been a lot more realistic. There was also various other discrepancies through out the novel that I don't think a woman would ever really really say such as in describing sexual relations with a guy as "he vanquished me". Again, I guess these are expected in Tipton's capacity as an ineffectual male trying to write from a female perspective. (and no, I'm writing in misandry here - it's just this guy)Altogether, despite these discrepancies, I enjoyed the vast historical depth marked by Tipton's eloquent prose. His philosophical insights into Wordsworth's poetry and portrayal of Annette's relationship with her family are beautiful and in-depth and on these qualities, its definitely worth reading.

  • Heather
    2019-04-05 18:29

    I read this book on my epic plane rides to and from Carlsbad, NM this last week. Sometimes the right book happens to fall into your hands at the right time, and I'd say this was definitely the case for this book.I mean, don't get me wrong, I love a good historical novel at just about any time. And a historical novel set during the French Revolution? Practically irrestible. A novel based around the secret romance of Annette Vallon and the famous poet Wordsworth? Delicious.I will say, however, that I was a little bit bad - and I am never, ever like this. I read about half of it on my way out on Monday, and I was so into it, I skimmed through the rest - especially the end, because I was kind of dying to know how it turned out. I was so bummed with the ending (I'll spare you the details!), that I almost didn't read the rest of it. I am so glad I did - the adventure basically started AFTER the die of her life had been cast. And it's a good lesson for us all - we don't always get what we want, but we can certainly make our lives amazing in spite of our disappointments.I know, I sound so positive - it's... scary.So, here are some of my favorite quotes from the book. I have decided to make myself take notes while I read this year so I have a better chance of remembering what I enjoyed - or the lessons I learned, or at least, so I have half a chance of discussing the book in the future.p. 153 - "This is how William and the captain envision the Revolution, I thought, the man of aristocratic birth and the woman of peasant origins, sharing a wooden cup of wine. But such a vision only comes from the eyes of the truly good. It doesn't take into account the hatred and ambitions of men." -Annettep. 445 - "Even a work about oneself is still a fiction, once one puts pen to paper, is it not?" he said. "What one chooses to say, what one chooses not to say, how one says it? It is all a fiction." -Wordsworthp. 457 - Excerpt of a Wordsworth poem:... those first affections,Those shadowy reflections,Which, be they what they may,And yet a fountain of light of all out day...Though nothing can bring back the hourOf splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;We will grieve not, rather findStrength in what remains behind.p. 480 - "Things were the same in a place where they could not be touched by anything else, a place we knew to be true. And I understood that place to be where I was, now, and always.I did not know if I would ever see William again, but I could hear his voice saying nothing had changed, and see his shining fifty-year-old eyes, and thought I truly knew what he meant now, and I suddenly laughed for the obvious joy and absurdity and sorrow of it all. Only the joy mattered now." - Annette

  • Carole C
    2019-04-09 21:18

    Now that I am finished with the book, I would certainly recommend it for several reasons. Even though I found some of the historical details to be a bit too involved and tedious, it is well written and perhaps finally gives a very courageous woman her moment. William Wordsworth's Victorian biographers understandably had difficulty with his affair and illegitimate child by the aristocratic French woman Annette Vallon, and she is not treated kindly by them, if she is even mentioned at all. As a poet, Wordsworth had tremendous status in Victorian society and the idea of an illicit affair with a French woman was conveniently ignored, even though James Tipton and others make an excellent case for many veiled allusions to Annette and Carolyn in Wordsworth's poetry. So instead of Annette as a shadowy figure somewhere in the background of Wordsworth's life, she is portrayed in this story as highly influential in Wordsworth's life as well as having a tremendous impact on his poetry. I have an interest in the Romantic poets and I especially enjoyed Tipton's portrayal of Wordsworth, as well as the fact that he included situations where and when the poet may possibly have penned some of his most famous lines. Tipton has crafted a beautifully written book set against the tumultuous backdrop of the French Revolution. He presents an admirable and unconventional female character who breaks all societal stereotypes of the time and becomes a lifeline to freedom for victims of the Revolution. I found myself thinking of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, and in fact, Annette Vallon performed very similar services for people who were fleeing oppression. Courage and compassion know no color, nationality, ethnicity or historical context, and I for one, based on Tipton's portrayal, found this mostly overlooked female figure to be admirable and intriguing. I highly recommend.

  • Lynette Lark
    2019-04-10 01:18

    French woman falls in love with an English poet during the Reign of Terror. Based on fact, you will be crying at the end. Awesome read.

  • Kristin
    2019-03-25 23:20

    Always a sucker for fictional accounts of the French Revolution, I picked this one up hoping it would contain sordid tales of various victims of the guillotine and general chaos of the time. Alas, no sordid tales- but I must admit that I was not at all disappointed. Usually not one for tales of the strong, independent female super-hero, I found myself totally drawn to Annette Vallon and the struggles of her and her family. While she faced a number of timeless and universal situations (young love betrayed, overly-controlling parent, loss of a beloved parent, all-consuming love)- the story also conveyed situations particular to the dynamic of the revolution- helping to free both loved ones and anonymous persons from unjustified imprisonment. I couldn't help but feel Vallon as a pioneer of the entire concept of an underground railroad. I felt engaged in the events and well-connected with the characters- to the point where I had emotional response to the outcome of their stories (I was rooting for Vallon to give up on that pansy Wordsworth and jump on the Marquis' bandwagon). All in all, it was an entertaining tale- amusing and emotional at the appropriate times. Perhaps only slightly over exaggeration in the fictionalization (for this, I have no actual basis for judgment)- but a satisfying undertaking nonetheless.

  • Jenna
    2019-03-28 00:04

    This is the second novel I have reviewed set during the French Revolution and I offer the same high praise as Madame Tussaurd. This novel brought me the face of the revolution, perhaps even more so though than Madame Tussaurd. This wasn't the typical novel of royalty and the high born, but instead gave light to the fear and uncertainty common people faced during the revolution and for years after wards.Annette Vallon is the women known in history as the mistress and muse of poet William Wordsworth. Although not much is known about their time together, or her life after him Tipton was able to give Annette a passion for life that seeped through the pages. The book was a bit longer than your typical romance, weighing in at close to 500 pages but I was gripped by this women whose name I had never heard before.I have found myself drawn to historical fiction books lately that focus upon famous artists of varying mediums. Like Tracy Chevalier, James Tipton left me wanting to learn more about the artist the book centered around. A good friend gave me a book of his poetry before she moved away and this book has made me want to dig into that one more than anything else has.I look forward to other works by James Tipton, and other books set in this time.

  • Jean Marie
    2019-04-06 17:03

    I have absolutely no idea how to rate this since the story wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Given the blurb, I thought that this would be primarily a love story and while there is a love story within the plot it doesn't resonate to me as the main concept of the story. The story, in my opinion, is about a bourgeoisie caught in the chaos of the French Revolution. She has a lover, an English poet, but she, Annette is the story. Her relationship with William Woodsworth is a small component of the overall tale. Focusing on the overall story, it's a good one. It's very different from the usual takes on the Revolution which usually invests the entire tale on what's happening to the aristocracy and the royal family. This focuses on a middle class reaction and it's Annette's revolution that's most fascinating and thoroughly overshadowed the romance of the story. The ending was bizarre; it felt like there was a 40 page epilogue but yet it sped by and seemed very cobbled as if the author was trying to tie up all loose ends at the expensive of flow and ending on an emotional note.

  • Princess
    2019-03-30 21:03

    Annette Vallon is a historical novel based on the life of a French Woman who survived the Revolution and shared a romance with the English poet William Wordsworth. The book covers her life in its entirity and paints an image of a beautiful, brave and very loving character that I can not help but completely admire. Whether dancing in the ballrooms of pre-revolutionary France, defying her Mother by loving a foreigner, raising his child on her own, outwitting the tyrants who failed to run her country or rescuing prisoners and hiding outlaws, she is a fascinating character and her story quite incredible. As with many historical novels based on the life of a little-known figure, I am sure the author took much liscence and filled in the gaps himself. However, the message still comes through so clearly you can’t help but feel touched by how she managed to survive the Terror of the French Revolution and still believe in love and beauty and the joys of every day life.

  • Debbie
    2019-03-31 20:17

    I loved this novel of the French Revolution. It took me a long time to get through because I accidentally left it at the lovely Hacienda del Sol in Tucson on a recent weekend visit. Thankfully, they found it and sent it up to me. The story is beautifully written fiction based on the lives of William Wordsworth and his French lover and mother of his daughter, Annette Vallon. The author notes at the end of the book that we know about Annette Vallon only because a historian discovered two letters in the early 1920's sent by Annette to Wordsworth that allude to other letters written. The British literary establishment was not happy at this discovery and the full story being out because they felt it tarnished Wordsworth's fine reputation. Other writers have been harsh on Annette Vallon, minimizing her intelligence and influence on Wordsworth, but Tipton writes an engaging story of her life and relationship with Wordsworth during and after the French Revolution.

  • Sarah Wagner
    2019-04-11 22:14

    In this novel set during the French Revolution, James Tipton fictionalizes the love affair between a young English poet William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon. Drawing from history, Tipton depicts the struggles and trials of these two lovers and the circumstances that kept them apart. I enjoyed the character of Annette, although I did feel she could have been stronger. I also felt that Annette, who bares an illegitimate child and actively opposes the tyranny of the French government by aiding those fleeing the country grew into a much more interesting character than William, who seems almost dull by comparison. Overall, an enjoyable read. Recommended for those who like reading about the French Revolution.

  • Annette
    2019-04-09 01:05

    Set during the French Revolution. This is a story of Annette Vallon – William Wordsworth’s mistress and muse. “Born into a world of wealth and pleasure, she enjoys the privileges of aristocracy. Spoiled by the novels of Rousseau, she refuses to be married unless it is for passion.”This story was supposed to “capture the courage and fearlessness of a woman whose dramatic story illuminates a turbulent and fascinating era.”I did not feel her courage or the atmosphere of the French Revolution. This book reads as an encyclopedia. If you are looking for a book, which gives a vibrant picture of that era, I recommend Madame Tussaud by Michelle [email protected]: Best Historical Fiction