Several months before Queen Marie Antoinette was forced to mount the scaffold in 1793, her young son and heir to the throne, Louis Charles, was ripped from her arms and disappeared into the annals of history, giving rise to speculation about the fate of the lost dauphin. Beginning with a cryptic clue to a secret plot the queen left in her last letter, scholar-sleuth and time-traveler Nicholas Segalla embarks on a treacherous journey to solve one of history's most intriguing mysteries: whatever happened to the prince lost to time?
Paris, 1815. A shadow of uncertainty hangs over the nation's future as long as one question remains unanswered. What is the real fate of the young Dauphin, held prisoner in the Temple where his mother Marie Antoinette spent her last days? History says he died, but rumors persist that he escaped. The answer holds interest for the British government, which sends time-traveling sleuth Nicholas Segalla to uncover the truth. Martin's Press.
In this powerful historical, Maj. Nicholas Segalla, special emissary of the English government to France, tries to discover the fate of the dauphin after the French Revolution. Because of possible political ramifications, Segalla must determine whether the boy died in prison or escaped. Segalla's quest goes deeper, however, because he is determined to keep a promise he made to Marie-Antoinette. Dukthas (A Time in the Death of a King, St. Martin's, 1994) provides a vivid re-creation of the splendors and deprivations of the period, as well as memorable characters and a plausible answer to what really happened. Segalla's apparent immortality will no doubt spark another story. An excellent diversion.
Nicholas Segalla, the man who ``claimed he had been alive for centuries'' returns (after A Time for the Death of a King) for a second time-travel mystery. It is 1815. Napoleon's defeat has opened the door for the restoration of France's Bourbon monarchy, but who is the rightful heir? The Dauphin Louis Charles, son of the guillotined Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, would be the obvious choice, but he is said to have died in 1795 and his uncle has claimed the throne as Louis XVIII. Segalla, in France as ``special emissary of the English prime minister'' to investigate, allies himself with government archivist Raoul Tallien, to negotiate the plots and subplots of former Revolutionaries, Royalists and a nervous Louis XVIII, who stands to lose the throne should his nephew turn up alive. While Segalla himself remains somewhat of a mysterious character, Dukthas constructs a riveting plot to help readers make their way through the intricacies of the historical setting, rewarding their perseverance with an astonishing solution.