"In July 1830, a revolution ousted the Bourbon monarchy from France. The royal family was in exile. From a drafty Scottish castle, the Duchess of Berry hatched a plot to restore the dynasty and, after two years of careful planning, she launched a civil war to reclaim the throne for her eleven-year-old son. She instantly became the most wanted woman in France, and she evaded capture for months by disguising herself as man, sleeping in fields and haylofts by night and by day commanding a guerilla army willing to die for her cause. The diminutive, cross-dressing duchess might have succeeded in her quixotic quest had she not been sold out by her most trusted advisor, a convert from Judaism named Simon Deutz. As the duchess moved towards Paris, Deutz became impatient and nervous; he revealed her whereabouts to police in exchange for a reward. She was discovered in a secret compartment behind a fireplace, smoked out by the officers who unwittingly exposed her in their eagerness to warm themselves during the cold November night. The country's response to the betrayal was intense, the duchess's plight a cause célèbre taken up by Bourbon loyalists that also became a blueprint for antisemitic stereotypes and rhetoric. Drawing on groundbreaking research and fresh analysis, Yale historian Maurice Samuels argues that the affair was the moment when the tensions of modernity took concrete form, through a cosmopolitan convert and a rebellious royal and the public's intense fascination with them. This was the first time antisemitism became racialized, rather than being defined by religion. Samuels also crafts an engrossing cultural history of an idiosyncratic and less-studied period of revolutionary French history -- the Restoration and the July Monarchy -- and a Europe on the brink of huge transformation. A riveting story of a heroic, highly spirited women and the charming but volatile young man who betrayed her, The Betrayal of the Duchess shows how the unlikely association of two larger-than-life figures from very different worlds changed the course of history"-- Provided by publisher.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 331-381) and index.