The dramatic tale of the Duchesse de Berry’s quest to retake the French throne for the Bourbons-and her betrayal at the hands of one of her closest advisors
In July 1830, the French royal family went into exile. From a drafty Scottish castle, the Duchesse de Berry hatched a plot to restore the dynasty and, after two years of careful planning, she set out to reclaim the throne for her son. 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, a convert from Judaism named Simon Deutz. The scandal that ensued turned the duchess’s plight into a cause célèbre for the royalist right and ignited a firestorm of hate against France’s Jews. By blaming an entire people for the actions of a single man, this affair 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 man who double-crossed her, and the birth of one of the modern world’s most deadly forms of hatred.