In 1785, a sensational trial began in Paris that would divide the country and captivate Europe. A leading Catholic cardinal and scion of one of the most distinguished families in France stood accused of forging the queen's signature to obtain the most expensive piece of jewelry in Europe: a 2,800-carat diamond necklace.
Where were the diamonds? Was the cardinal innocent? Was, for that matter, the queen? The revelations from the trial would bedevil the French monarchy as the country descended into a bloody revolution.
"With its exuberant use of language and subtly ironic storytelling, it is almost as colorful as the scandal it unfolds." (Sunday Times, UK)
"Jonathan Beckman skillfully unfolds the intricacies and absurdities of this extraordinary episode... [and] provides us with an engaging and finely-researched study of an affair that, despite having the plot of a frothy operetta, was of genuine historical significance." (Literary Review, UK)
"A hell of a tale and Jonathan Beckman gives it all the verve and swagger it deserves." (Spectator, UK)
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A History Buff's Guilty Pleasure