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Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution
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Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  903 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
For fans of Tracy Chevalier and Sarah Dunant comes this vibrant, alluring debut novel of a compelling, independent woman who would inspire one of the world's greatest poets and survive a nation's bloody transformation.

Set amid the terror and excitement of the French Revolution, James Tipton's evocative novel is the story of a woman who has for too long been relegated to th
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Harper (first published 2007)
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Aug 05, 2016 BAM rated it really liked it
This book was just charming. I was simply enchanted by the romance between Vallon and Wordsworth, not to mention blown away by Annette's bravery equating her to a French Harriet Tubman. This novel gave me a whole new perspective on the French Revolution and how the majority of the country's population was affected.
Eric Shaffer
Mar 23, 2014 Eric Shaffer rated it it was amazing
Read this book sentence by sentence with both eyes wide open for maximum pleasure. Savor the contemporary political subtext. Ah, delicious.
Jan 14, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
Annette Vallon by James Tipton is thoroughly delightful--start to finish. The story of Annette Vallon is one already wrapped in mystery and intrigue. One country wants to honor her efforts for the crown while the another wants to deny her very existance. She is the beautiful mistress of William Wordsworth, and an activist. And then James Tipton puts all of it into context. He fleshes out the heroine wonderfully, giving her a spirit that jumps off the pages.

The story takes place during the Revol
Feb 07, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
This book was so good that I am going through withdrawls!! ...The same withdrawls as when I finished the Harry Potter series. After renting it from the library, this amazing historical novel is soon going to be added to my own library because I want to read it at least a few more times. I wanted to start it over again right when I finished it.
It takes place over 22 years of the French Revolution and although that sounds like an epic, it is not that drawn out. The fact that I learned so much cou
Jun 14, 2012 Kelly rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. This is a very good piece of historical fiction. I heard one reviewer compare the writing to Phillippa Gregory's....I did not find that to be the case at all. I like her books, but don't feel they are nearly as historically meticulous as this one.

Annette Vallon was the lover of William Wordsworth during the French Revolution. I don't want to be a spoiler so I'll be vague here - Annette's activities over a period of a decade (or more) started to seem completely unbelievable to me as I
May 11, 2014 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Annette Vallon has been marketed as a historical novel about English poet William Wordsworth’s youthful love affair. But Tipton’s book is about Annette, a remarkable woman who made of herself much more than a famous poet’s early muse. And it is about the French Revolution, including the Reign of Terror, which shaped her destiny.

Daughter of a respected physician from Blois, France, Marie Anne Vallon, known as Annette, spent her childhood in the final bloom of the French bourgeoisie. She wore sil
Jun 16, 2015 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing
The half-page preface, evocative and elegiac, is by far the most powerful writing in the book. In it, we meet an older Annette Vallon on Jan. 4, 1821, sitting in front of three diaries, remembering things past. "My memories remain fresh and cool. I remember the feel of a silk sleeve on my skin, the lightness of taffeta when I danced, and the big riding cloak when I could feel the reassuring weight of a pistol in each pocket. ... I loved a young poet then."

James Tipton’s Annette Vallon must be
Amy (mrsAmy#s)
May 28, 2010 Amy (mrsAmy#s) rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
This book is really 3.5 stars for me. I liked it, but it didn't grab me. Annette is a very strong woman for her time period. She's captivating and fun to read about. But although the summary of the book might make you believe this is a love story with the poet William Wordsworth, it's really not- it's merely one part of Annette's adventurous and passionate life (although it actually did make me want to go read some Wordsworth poems). However, this might be a benefit and not a disadvantage- ...more
One of the problems with Annette Vallon is you care more about what’s going on around her rather than to her. The French Revolution was an interestingly volatile time, but Annette Vallon is written so that it’s hard to distinguish whether it’s just historical fiction or a romance novel placed in historical times. Whenever Wordsworth reappears, the true historical aspect of this novel, that is the action and details of the French Revolution, dry up. One must also have quite a bit of patience as ...more
Tracy Laverty
Aug 27, 2010 Tracy Laverty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Annette's strong character in this story of the French Revolution. Beautifully written
Mar 22, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie Hanrahan
Jan 08, 2015 Katie Hanrahan rated it really liked it
Little is known of the real Annette Vallon, and therein lies all the room that James Tipton needed to write an intriguing novel. The story is more fiction than history, often requiring a reader to suspend disbelief at the fictional Annette Vallon's activities as a counter-revolutionary. Her own life in the French provinces was likely a dull time, but that doesn't make for much of a page-turner.

The author weaves the historical story of poet William Wordsworth and his French lover into the novel.
Feb 20, 2008 Anne rated it really liked it
This historical fiction is about the relationship of William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon, the French woman he met on a stay there during the French Revolution and had a child with. I had always known her as a romantic footnote to this august poet's life. I am a big Wordsworth fan and enjoy reading the young Wordsworth. It was slow going at first, but I am now absorbed and eager to return to its pages tonight.
J. Morgyn
Oct 03, 2014 J. Morgyn rated it really liked it
Enchanting. I'd be more than happy to read another novel by this author. It was a seamless blend of history and life with a historically based romance underlying the plot. Not knowing how the Vallon/Wordsworth romance ended, I was captivated until the end. Very enjoyable.
Jan 05, 2008 Mia rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction set in the French Revolution... based loosely upon the life of Wordsworth, a love story with a strong heroine.
Jan 13, 2008 Daisy rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2008-reads
Don't bother reading this. It was dreadful and I barely skimmed the end. What a waste of time.
Jul 26, 2011 Jess rated it really liked it
Where the possibility of beauty existing in such terrifying, depraved times of the French Revolution seems quite impossible to us in this day and age, Annette Vallon conveys quite the contrary.

The historical backdrop is thrilling and tragic in a way you could never really read in a text book - as Tipton creates real, alive characters to meet these tumultuous times of unceasing wars and violence and suspicion and ideology bathed by the horrific blood of the Guillotine and the countless young men
Jan 15, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Recommended to Heather by: My mom
I read this book on my epic plane rides to and from Carlsbad, NM this last week. Sometimes the right book happens to fall into your hands at the right time, and I'd say this was definitely the case for this book.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I love a good historical novel at just about any time. And a historical novel set during the French Revolution? Practically irrestible. A novel based around the secret romance of Annette Vallon and the famous poet Wordsworth? Delicious.

I will say, however, tha
Oct 01, 2012 Annette rated it really liked it
Annette Vallon was the daughter of a physician. Her siblings were Marguerite, Etienne, and Angelique. The novel begins in 1785. Annette was sixteen and had just finished convent school. Her mother is in negotiations of arraigning a marriage. A music and dance instructor is hired for Annette. He is a rogue and Annette becomes a casualty. In 1789 Annette made a statement of belief that "the French Revolution began over bread". Rioting begins, uprisings, murders, looting, civil unrest. There are ...more
Carole C
Sep 25, 2011 Carole C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, and those with an interest in the English Romantic poets
Recommended to Carole by: read a review
Now that I am finished with the book, I would certainly recommend it for several reasons. Even though I found some of the historical details to be a bit too involved and tedious, it is well written and perhaps finally gives a very courageous woman her moment. William Wordsworth's Victorian biographers understandably had difficulty with his affair and illegitimate child by the aristocratic French woman Annette Vallon, and she is not treated kindly by them, if she is even mentioned at all. As a ...more
Nov 12, 2010 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always a sucker for fictional accounts of the French Revolution, I picked this one up hoping it would contain sordid tales of various victims of the guillotine and general chaos of the time. Alas, no sordid tales- but I must admit that I was not at all disappointed. Usually not one for tales of the strong, independent female super-hero, I found myself totally drawn to Annette Vallon and the struggles of her and her family. While she faced a number of timeless and universal situations (young love ...more
Oct 30, 2016 Jenna rated it really liked it
This is the second novel I have reviewed set during the French Revolution and I offer the same high praise as Madame Tussaurd. This novel brought me the face of the revolution, perhaps even more so though than Madame Tussaurd. This wasn't the typical novel of royalty and the high born, but instead gave light to the fear and uncertainty common people faced during the revolution and for years after wards.

Annette Vallon is the women known in history as the mistress and muse of poet William Wordswor
Jean Marie
Feb 09, 2014 Jean Marie rated it really liked it
I have absolutely no idea how to rate this since the story wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Given the blurb, I thought that this would be primarily a love story and while there is a love story within the plot it doesn't resonate to me as the main concept of the story. The story, in my opinion, is about a bourgeoisie caught in the chaos of the French Revolution. She has a lover, an English poet, but she, Annette is the story. Her relationship with William Woodsworth is a small component of ...more
May 03, 2008 Princess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Annette Vallon is a historical novel based on the life of a French Woman who survived the Revolution and shared a romance with the English poet William Wordsworth. The book covers her life in its entirity and paints an image of a beautiful, brave and very loving character that I can not help but completely admire. Whether dancing in the ballrooms of pre-revolutionary France, defying her Mother by loving a foreigner, raising his child on her own, outwitting the tyrants who failed to run her ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Debbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel
I loved this novel of the French Revolution. It took me a long time to get through because I accidentally left it at the lovely Hacienda del Sol in Tucson on a recent weekend visit. Thankfully, they found it and sent it up to me. The story is beautifully written fiction based on the lives of William Wordsworth and his French lover and mother of his daughter, Annette Vallon. The author notes at the end of the book that we know about Annette Vallon only because a historian discovered two letters ...more
Sarah Wagner
In this novel set during the French Revolution, James Tipton fictionalizes the love affair between a young English poet William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon. Drawing from history, Tipton depicts the struggles and trials of these two lovers and the circumstances that kept them apart. I enjoyed the character of Annette, although I did feel she could have been stronger. I also felt that Annette, who bares an illegitimate child and actively opposes the tyranny of the French government by aiding ...more
Jul 05, 2016 Annette rated it it was ok
Set during the French Revolution. This is a story of Annette Vallon – William Wordsworth’s mistress and muse. “Born into a world of wealth and pleasure, she enjoys the privileges of aristocracy. Spoiled by the novels of Rousseau, she refuses to be married unless it is for passion.”

This story was supposed to “capture the courage and fearlessness of a woman whose dramatic story illuminates a turbulent and fascinating era.”

I did not feel her courage or the atmosphere of the French Revolution. This
Jul 05, 2010 Erin rated it liked it
I liked this book but I found the background story of the French Revolution more interesting than the story of Annette Vallon and William Wordsworth. But in saying that It was still an interesting read. So little is known about Annette the woman who inspired Wordsworth that many liberties can be taken with the historical facts. At the end of the book I did feel a bit like I had read a Mills and Boon, as the ending was a bit typical of a standard romance novel with the usual question of will they ...more
Aug 19, 2010 Gwen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annette vallon is the kind of book where you can pick up over and over again without feeling sick of it.
I like how it shows how she grew up, from a naive convent girl, to the lover of wordsworth, and finally a women of such strength and passion.
Also, the progression of the love that develops between annette and William takes place over a period of time, something that is rare nowadays with books such as twilight misleading us into believing that you can truly fall in love within a week or two.
Jul 19, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it
This love story between Annette Vallon and William Wordsworth was set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, and though at times, it was slow-going, that had less to do with the novel itself and more to do with my lack of knowledge on the historical period (I had to do some reading to familiarize myself with some of the French terms and try to gain a better understanding of the turbulent times). The character Annette is strong, witty,intelligent, and likeable. A free-spirit in a time ...more
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