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How to Ruin a Queen
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A tale of greed, lust, deceit, theft on an extraordinary scale, charlatanry, kidnapping, assassination and escape from prison.

About the Author

Jonathan Beckman is senior editor of Literary Review. He has degrees in English from the University of Cambridge and Intellectual and Cultural History from Queen Mary, University of London. In 2010, he won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction.

Reviews

A work of scholarship and imagination, that focusses new light on the famous and extraordinary affair of Marie Antoinette and the stolen diamonds. The narrative is like an ingenious chess game showing us the complex moves of bishops, knights and pawns round the king and queen. Jonathan Beckman is the new Wilkie Collins of biographical history - Michael HolroydA fascinating and impeccably researched account of one of the great scandals of the eighteenth century. Beckman is a master-storyteller whose consummate skills are evident on every page - Amanda ForemanA murky story of the Ancien Regime including diamonds and sex, brilliantly told - Lady Antonia FraserNecklace to neckless! This is the murky tale of the diamond heist that lead to Marie Antoinette's demise - TatlerA rollicking whodunit - IndependentFascinating . . . a gripping detective story and a witty revelation of a scandal that shocked Paris - BBC History MagazineIn his intriguing history, Jonathan Beckman has spun out of this dirty tangle of source material a clear and compelling narrative line . . . with its exuberant use of language and subtly ironic storytelling, it is almost as colourful as the scandal it explores - Sunday TimesGripped me like a whodunit . . . Beckman tells this scarcely believable story with flair - The Times

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