Annette Vallon, A Novel of the French Revolution

Jun 15, 2022

Annette Vallon, A Novel of the French Revolution (HarperCollins 2008), was a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great Writers Pick. 

I enjoyed writing this novel because Annette was such a compelling person: compassionate, intelligent, passionate, courageous, deeply ethical in an unethical time. Her relationship with William Wordsworth was also fun to write, as I could imagine this young man, on fire to be a great poet and wanting to save the world through the new ethos of the Revolution, which backfired upon him and upon his relationship with Annette. Annette becomes a reluctant hero, drawn into intrigue because of her passion to help people in distress, she becomes more and more involved until the resistance becomes her life—along with her baby daughter and her love for William, who had to escape from France to save his head. Her great heart guided her in a misguided time.

HarperCollins’ blurb on the back of the book starts with a quote from Annette’s narration: “Be careful reader: my troubles started because I read novels. 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 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.”

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