Fiction / European History / France
Memoirs of a Dwarf
At the Sun King's Court
"A ribald twist on Henry Fielding's Tom Jones, Paul Weidner's Memoirs of a Dwarf turns historical fiction on its head."Brent Spencer, author of Are We Not Men?
Set in the over-scaled, decadent Versailles of Louis XIV, Memoirs is the story of Hugues, an impoverished dwarf who maneuvers his way up into the very highest of court circles by clandestinely serving the needs of a mob of unscrupulous gamblers, of a priest notorious for saying black Masses at midnight, and, from under the gaming tables, of a number of sex-starved society women, including Louis's mistress. Two-thirds of the way through, Hugues finally discovers the truth of his own identity, a revelation that is a political bombshell and which subjects him to a grisly turn. The story combines historical events and charactersLouis, his mistresses, his outrageous brother Philippe, and many other baroque personalitieswith fictitious ones; and it reaches its climax during the famous affaire des poisons, the sexual and political scandal that thundered through the royal court and threatened wholesale destruction.
Paul Weidner, formerly director for the Hartford Stage Company and of graduate programs for acting, design, and stage directing at the New York University School of the Arts, has directed more than forty productions. He divides his time between New York and Brittany, France. This is his first novel.
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October 2004 LC: 2004007799 PS
346 pp. 6 x 9
ISBN 978-0-299-20510-2 Cloth $24.95 t
Terrace edition for sale only in Canada and the U.S. and its dependencies
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