Find A Book: France, 1700s

Hi, all! A friend of mine just asked me for recommendations for novels set in France between 1700 and 1789. Here’s the twist: it has to have a happy ending (meaning Through A Glass Darkly is right out). The first book that came to mind for me was Rosalind Laker’s To Dance With Kings.

Any other suggestions?

Side note: if you all find polling our book info useful, I’m happy to do an occasional Find A Book forum here on the website. Just email me with your book query, and I’ll post it here.


  1. Amanda on December 27, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    I don’t have any recommendations but was just on amazon looking for books set in medieval or ancient Italy….any suggestions???

  2. Lauren on December 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Hmm. If you don’t late medieval/Renaissance Italy, there’s Alexandra Ripley’s “The Time Returns” or Iris Johansen’s “The Wind Dancer”.

    For Ancient Rome, Colleen McCullough’s First Man in Rome series is excellent. There are also a number of mystery series being set in Ancient Rome these days.

  3. Christine on December 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Amanda – The Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips is 17th century Italy (1618), so it’s a little later than what you’re looking for. Her sequel, The Devlin Diary, is set in 17th century England, but it’s also good.

  4. Lauren on December 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Back on the Renaissance, there was another novel I loved, called “Chiara”, about a woman painter in Renaissance Italy (that’s where I got the name for the mother of my “Orchid Affair” heroine), but I can’t for the life of me remember who wrote it….

  5. Amanda on December 27, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations. I just finished Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran and decided to stay in Rome for a bit longer. In my mind at least as by body is freezing in Vermont!!

  6. Joanne M. on December 28, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Hi, Lauren – The only other novel I can think of that might fit your friend’s criteria is The Queen’s Dollmaker by Christine Trent (the setting is both England and France on the brink of the French Revolution).

    I’ve found these two resources to be extremely helpful when I need historical fiction/historical romance lists:

    All About Romance has a great top 100 reader’s choice for 2010: has over 5,000 historical fiction novels cross referenced by time and place.

    Hope this helps!

  7. J. Renaud on December 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Hi, Joanne– I’m the one looking for the pre-revolutionary French historical romances. Unfortunately “The Queen’s Dollmaker” doesn’t work for me, since judging from the synopsis on Amazon, it seems that most of it is involved with the Revolution, and I would like a book that is in no way involved in the Revolution.

    Thanks for linking me to that website. It’s great. I can see I’ll be spending hours there!

  8. Claudine on December 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I have a suggestion. I just read a book called Rendezvous by Serena Richards aka Susan Carroll. It’s very old. I bought a copy of it on e-bay. It’s set after the revolution during Napolean’s reign. It’s a very good book. It’s starts in England, but quickly moves to France when the heroine and her group of spies, plans to kidnap Napolean. The hero is a double agent working for the English government and trying to find the “corrupt” spy amoung the group. Not to spoil the end, but it does have a happy ending. It’s a hard book to find, because it’s an oldie. But very good, just the same.

  9. J. Renaud on December 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    “Rendezvous” sounds like fun, but I’m looking for books set before the French Revolution, not after.

  10. Eve on December 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    This is a tad earlier than perhaps you want, but I enjoy Judith Merkle Riley’s novels. Haven’t read this one yet, though:

    (17th century Paris)

    Agh! I didn’t realize that she had passed away. 🙁

  11. Chartreuse on December 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Jo Beverley’s A Lady’s Secret is set part in France and part in England.

  12. Kayse on December 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    The Courtier’s Secret, by Donna Russo Morin, isn’t quite what you’re looking for with its 1682 setting, but at least it’s Revolution-free! I’ve just started it, but it’s good so far.

  13. Yvette on January 3, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Georgette Heyer’s “These Old Shades” and “Powder & Patch”. She did several that were set in pre-revolution 18th century, and some are at least partly in France.

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