Free Virtual Literary Discussion
The Betrayal of the Duchess:
with Caroline Weber
LIVE on Zoom
Monday, June 22, 2020
Cercle d’Amies group invites all FIAF Members to a special virtual literary evening with award-winning author Maurice Samuels.
Samuels, Professor of French at Yale University and founding director of the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism, will discuss his recently released book, The Betrayal of the Duchess: The Scandal That Unmade the Bourbon Monarchy and Made France Modern (April 2020).
He will be interviewed by Caroline Weber, Barnard College Professor and acclaimed author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie-Antoinette Wore to the Revolution.
Together they will discuss France during the great cholera outbreak of 1832 and the attempted coup by the Duchesse de Berry, who endeavors to reconquer the French throne for the Bourbons. She is foiled by a charming but volatile young man who double-crosses her, leading to a scandal that has implications all the way into the modern day.
60 minutes with Q&A
The Betrayal of the Duchess
Fighting to reclaim the French crown for the Bourbons, the Duchesse de Berry faces betrayal at the hands of one of her closest advisors in this dramatic history of power and revolution.
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The year was 1832 and the French royal family was in exile, driven out by yet another revolution. From a drafty Scottish castle, the Duchesse de Berry—the mother of the eleven-year-old heir to the throne—hatched a plot to restore the Bourbon dynasty. For months, she commanded a guerilla army and evaded capture by disguising herself as a man. But soon she was betrayed by her trusted advisor, Simon Deutz, the son of France’s Chief Rabbi. The betrayal became a cause célèbre for Bourbon loyalists and ignited a firestorm of hate against France’s Jews. By blaming an entire people for the actions of a single man, the duchess’s supporters set the terms for the century of antisemitism that followed.
Brimming with intrigue and lush detail, The Betrayal of the Duchess is the riveting story of a high-spirited woman, the charming but volatile young man who double-crossed her, and the birth of one of the modern world’s most deadly forms of hatred.
Maurice Samuels is the Betty Jane Anlyan professor of French at Yale University, chair of the program in Judaic studies, and founder and director of the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism.
Samuels is the author of three books, including The Spectacular Past, which won the Gaddis Smith International Book Prize, and Inventing the Israelite, which received the MLA’s Scaglione Prize. Prior to teaching at Yale, he was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania after completing his PhD at Harvard. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015. He lives in New York and New Haven, Connecticut.
Caroline Weber is a professor of French and Comparative Literature at Barnard College, Columbia University; she has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton.
Weber is the author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie-Antoinette Wore to the Revolution (2006) and Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin de Siecle Paris (2018). She has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Financial Times, London Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, and New York magazine. She lives in New York City.
About Cercle d'Amis
Cercle d’Amis is a premier membership group within FIAF that shares a passion for French arts and culture. Meetings of the Cercle d’Amis include intimate discussions with luminaries from the French art world and best-selling authors, behind-the-scenes tours of leading New York cultural institutions, and other special events curated by FIAF Board Member, Marie-Noëlle Pierce.