Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Hurlyburly's Husband-Jean Teulé and Alison Anderson (translator)

The Hurlyburly's Husband Jean Teulé and Alison Anderson (translator) Gallic, Apr 15 2014, $15.95 ISBN: 9781906040659 In 1663 the Marquis de Montespan Louis-Henri de Pardaillan Gondrin and Françoise de Rochechouart de Mortemart, who begins to use the name Athénaïs, marry. In love with each other, the newlyweds feel blessed to have found one another. However, love is not enough to pay the bills of an aristocratic couple living the good life well above their means. To bring in needed income and become a favorite of King Louis XIV, Louis-Henri enlists in the army though he finds the front unappealing. In the new Palace of Versailles, Queen Marie-Thérèse employs Athénaïs as a lady-in-waiting. Feeling out of place in the decadent Sun King’s palace, Athénaïs pleads with Montespan for them to leave immediately for Paris, but he refuses. Soon afterward, the monarch sees ‘hurluberlu’ blond curled Athénaïs and makes her his royal mistress. While his wife becomes the talk of the kingdom, as the latest lover of the king, Montespan is expected to ferme la bouche and quietly enjoy the benefits. Instead unlike the cuckold behavior of his peers who take the money silently, he publicly displays his dismay as the victim who wants his beloved wife returned to him immediately. Based on a true seventeenth century triangle, The Hurlyburly’s Husband is a dark comedy starring a fascinating hero who will remind readers of Quixote and his changing from innocent to obsessed. Character-driven by the lead couple, readers will appreciate Jean Teule’s latest witty tale (see The Suicide Shop) as Montespan rejects the acceptable norm and “willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause” (The Impossible Dream lyrics by Joe Darion). Harriet Klausner

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