(From the publisher):
A historical novel about a famous diamond — one of the biggest in the world — that passed from the hands of William Pitt's grandfather to the French kings and Napoleon, linking many of the most famous personalities of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Rich with historical detail, characters, and nonstop drama, the story centers on the famous Regent diamond — once the largest and most beautiful diamond in the world — which was discovered in India in the late seventeenth century and bought by the governor of the East India Company, a cunning nabob, trader, and ex-pirate named Thomas Pitt. His son brought it to London, where a Jewish diamond-cutter of genius took two years to fashion it into one of the world's greatest gems.
After hawking it around the courts of Europe, Pitt sold the diamond to Louis XIV's profligate and deeply amoral nephew, the Duc d'Orléans. Raised to glory by this fortune, Pitt's grandsons would rule England and devote their lives to fighting the very Bourbon kings who wore their diamond, the enduring symbol of the rivalry between France and England.
The diamond was worn by Louis XIV, Louis XV, and by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. A beautiful blond whore placed it in her private parts to entice Czar Peter the Great on his visit to Paris. A band of thieves stole it during the bloodiest days of the Revolution. Found in an attic, it was pawned for horses for Napoleon's first campaigns. Napoleon redeemed the diamond and, though hiswife Josephine craved it, set it in the hilt of his sword, where it appeared in many of his portraits. After his fall, his young second wife, Marie-Louise, grabbed it when she fled France. The Régent was hidden in innumerable secret places, used by Napoleon III and the ravishing Empress Eugenie to impress Queen Victoria, and finally ended up on display in the Louvre museum, where it remains today, then and now the first diamond of France.
Original title: The Diamond
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ 19th Century
Fiction→ Historical→ European→ France