The Bastard Prince of Versailles: A Novel Inspired by True Events
By Will Bashor
By Will Bashor
Publication Date: August 18, 2023
Publisher: Will Bashor
Page Length: 338 Pages
Genre: Historical LGBTQ Fiction / Historical Fiction
A historical novel inspired by real events, The Bastard Prince of Versailles, narrates the escapades of a misborn "prince" during the reign of Louis XIV in seventeenth-century France. Louis de Bourbon wasn't a real prince-even though his father was King Louis XIV.
The illegitimate son of the King and his mistress, Louise de La Vallière, young Louis has been kept far from the court's eyes until summoned to bid adieu to his mother. To atone for her adultery, she joins a convent, abandoning Louis to an uncertain future.
When Louis is humiliated by his father for his role in a secret gay society, he struggles to redeem himself through heroism and self-sacrifice in the king's army on the battlefield.
Praise for The Bastard Prince of Versailles:
“Will Bashor effortlessly weaves together the threads of fact and fiction, transporting us back to the opulence and intrigue of 17th century France. The author’s research and attention to detail are evident and well applied, never seeming like a dry history lesson but always a hook keeping you turning the pages.
Louis is brought to life with such authenticity that you can't help but empathize with his journey. As he navigates the treacherous waters of courtly politics and yearns for his father's approval, you'll feel a gripping connection to his struggles and triumphs. The rest of the characters are well-crafted as well, each contributing to the rich tapestry of the story.
If you are looking for a unique historical novel that will transport you to another time and leave a lasting impression, this book is an absolute must-read.”
--International Review of Books
On the way to his new chambers, Elizabeth introduced Louis to several courtiers in the galleries. Gentlemen bowed and ladies curtseyed, all the while eyeing his charming smile. Many commented that he had his mother’s dainty features. When Elizabeth and Louis happened upon a clutter of mignons in one of the galleries, Elizabeth took hold of Louis’ hand.
“Junger Louis, these are the Italian chevaliers,” she said in a tense tone. “Ignore them.”
The young men stopped conversing upon seeing the newcomer. Elizabeth whispered, “And you’ll soon learn why they are called Italian.”
Louis had never seen young men dressed so frivolously. The sleeves of their shiny, short satin jackets were open from the shoulder to the laced cuffs at the wrist, showing the billowy sleeves of their silk shirts. Their short breeches were elaborately tied with bands of ribbon above the knee, and their red-heeled boots were topped with ruffles or lace garters.
When Elizabeth caught the minions gawking at Louis, she barked, “Pathetic dolts!” and the mignons vanished from the salon.
As she escorted Louis down the long corridors, she passed an enormous wind. He looked up at her in disbelief.
“This is not Versailles, mein lieber Louis,” she bellowed.
They both chuckled, and Louis knew they were off to a great start. For the next few days, Elizabeth kept him busy settling in, meeting her husband’s bizarre followers, and learning the few rules of court etiquette. It wasn’t Sceaux. And it certainly wasn’t Versailles.
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From Columbus, Ohio, Will earned his Ph.D. from the American Graduate School of Paris. In his spare time, he reads memoirs and researches the lives of royals and their courtiers. He hopes to share his fascination with the Bourbon dynasty and its quirky inhabitants and, at the same time, weave the historical record with creative fiction. He has written articles for the Huffington Post, Age of Revolutions, BBC History Magazine, and Carine Roitfeld’s CR Fashion Book.
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