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

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,040 ratings  ·  130 reviews
Born into a world of wealth and pleasure, Annette Vallon enjoys the privileges of aristocracy, but a burning curiosity and headstrong independence set her apart from other women of her class. Spoiled by the novels of Rousseau, she refuses to be married unless it is for passion. Her stubborn devotion to her romantic principles bears the sweetest fruit when William Wordswort ...more
Paperback, 481 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by Harper Perennial (first published 2007)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,040 ratings  ·  130 reviews


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BAM The Bibliomaniac
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
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book sentence by sentence with both eyes wide open for maximum pleasure. Savor the contemporary political subtext. Ah, delicious.
Katie
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jessica
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kelly
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Annette
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 th ...more
Margaret
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
...more
Jacqueline
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Christina
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 t ...more
Amy (mrsAmy#s)
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- Annet ...more
Daisy
Jan 13, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
Don't bother reading this. It was dreadful and I barely skimmed the end. What a waste of time.
Tracy Laverty
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Annette's strong character in this story of the French Revolution. Beautifully written
Joanne McKay
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved! Worth getting through the first part to unfold an amazing story! Even better that this was a free library stand find for me!
Julia
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/ 5

This book is a real hidden gem! I bought this on sale really cheap and let it sit on my shelf for several years before picking it up, but I was so glad I finally did! While I did not know anything about Annette Vallon or William Wordsworth before reading this, the author really brought them to life, and made the characters and the plot equally fascinating. Reading about the French Revolution is always horrifying, but there is also a lot of lively dialogue and charm to make this a very well
...more
Lisa
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie Hanrahan
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Anne
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mia
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction set in the French Revolution... based loosely upon the life of Wordsworth, a love story with a strong heroine.
Ali
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a number of fictionalizations of the French Revolution but I think this one is my favorite. It's the story of Annette Vallon, muse and lover of William Wordsworth, whose poetry I remember reading in Brit lit and thinking he wasn't the worst of that era. Annette has been long dismissed by biographers as silly and kind of a floozy but the French know her quite differently, as someone who repeatedly aided those escaping the Terror. The book was immediately engaging and if you're at all in ...more
Jeanna
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastically written narrative that reads very much in the traditional prose of romance.
The intrigue centers much in the storytelling without needlessly dragging plot. The characterizations remain genuine and grow on you throughout the progression of the story.
It certainly helps that it reads in much the same manner as actual books published in the years it took place. A book I would recommend to fans of historical fiction.
Louie Wells
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just love when strong women are written back into history - as Annette Vallon is, the love of William Wordsworth the poet, in this powerful story of the destruction of lives, families, properties during the Reign of Terror in France.
Elizabeth
Interesting take on the French Revolution and the suffering of many innocents
Jessica
Apr 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Heather
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lynette Lark
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
French woman falls in love with an English poet during the Reign of Terror. Based on fact, you will be crying at the end. Awesome read.
Carole C
Sep 04, 2011 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 p ...more
Kristin
Oct 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jenna
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jean Marie
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 th ...more
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