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Book Review: "Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution" by James Tipton

"Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution" by James Tipton

Readers will know of the French Revolution. Readers will also know of the great poet William Wordsworth. What they might not know about is his mistress Annette Vallon. Annette Vallon was a woman of independence, courage, and compassion. In "Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution" by James Tipton, readers get to meet this extraordinary woman.

"Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution" explores the very full life of this woman who captured the heart of William Wordsworth. Born to a wealthy doctor, Annette begins the novel as a carefree young woman, but a dalliance with someone, the danger of the French Revolution, and falling in love with the English William Wordsworth changes her life forever. Due to conflict between France and England and all the conflict of the French Revolution, William and Annette are separated from one another. William eventually returns home to England and begins his journey into becoming a great English poet while Annette raises their daughter and puts herself in grave danger to protect and save people during the tumultuous time period. The novel explores the life of a woman who was more than the mistress of William Wordsworth, but a true French heroine.

The novel is well-written and expertly researched. You can tell that Tipton has a wealth of knowledge on Annette Vallon, William Wordsworth and his poems, and the French Revolution. Every detail of the lives of the characters and what was going on during this dangerous time in history is perfectly portrayed.

The love story, especially at the beginning of the novel, between William and Annette is especially moving. You can see why they fell for one another. It is nice to see their bond go from friendship to passion to love. It is easy to see in this novel that Annette was the great love of William's life.

The novel can be a bit dry and read like a history book at times. It is a lengthy read and may need to be put down sometimes because it can be a bit much at once. It is not light and fluffy, but a challenging and slow read.

"Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution" is a fitting tribute to a woman not that known throughout history, but who played a major role in it. She was more than an English poet's muse and love. She was a woman in the very thick of things during the French Revolution.

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