14 Days in July ~ by Carl Baker and Marc Heberden
About This Day In Our History . . . On the 14th day of July in 1789, French revolutionaries storm Bastille.
Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of political turmoil and terror in which King Louis XVI was overthrown and tens of thousands of people, including the king and his wife Marie Antoinette, were executed.
The Bastille was originally constructed in 1370 as a bastide, or “fortification,” to protect the walled city of Paris from English attack. It was later made into an independent stronghold, and its name–bastide–was corrupted to Bastille. The Bastille was first used as a state prison in the 17th century, and its cells were reserved for upper-class felons, political troublemakers, and spies. Most prisoners there were imprisoned without a trial under direct orders of the king. Standing 100 feet tall and surrounded by a moat more than 80 feet wide, the Bastille was an imposing structure in the Parisian landscape.
By the summer of 1789, France was moving quickly toward revolution. There were severe food shortages in France that year, and popular resentment against the rule of King Louis XVI was turning to fury. In June, the Third Estate, which represented commoners and the lower clergy, declared itself the National Assembly and called for the drafting of a constitution. Initially seeming to yield, Louis legalized the National Assembly but then surrounded Paris with troops and dismissed Jacques Necker, a popular minister of state who had supported reforms. In response, mobs began rioting in Paris at the instigation of revolutionary leaders.
Bernard-Jordan de Launay, the military governor of the Bastille, feared that his fortress would be a target for the revolutionaries and so requested reinforcements. A company of Swiss mercenary soldiers arrived on July 7 to bolster his garrison of 82 soldiers. The Marquis de Sade, one of the few prisoners in the Bastille at the time, was transferred to an insane asylum after he attempted to incite a crowd outside his window by yelling: “They are massacring the prisoners; you must come and free them.” On July 12, royal authorities transferred 250 barrels of gunpowder to the Bastille from the Paris Arsenal, which was more vulnerable to attack. Launay brought his men into the Bastille and raised its two drawbridges.
On July 13, revolutionaries with muskets began firing at soldiers standing guard on the Bastille’s towers and then took cover in the Bastille’s courtyard when Launay’s men fired back. That evening, mobs stormed the Paris Arsenal and another armory and acquired thousands of muskets. At dawn on July 14, a great crowd armed with muskets, swords, and various makeshift weapons began to gather around the Bastille.
Launay received a delegation of revolutionary leaders but refused to surrender the fortress and its munitions as they requested. He later received a second delegation and promised he would not open fire on the crowd. To convince the revolutionaries, he showed them that his cannons were not loaded. Instead of calming the agitated crowd, news of the unloaded cannons emboldened a group of men to climb over the outer wall of the courtyard and lower a drawbridge. Three hundred revolutionaries rushed in, and Launay’s men took up a defensive position. When the mob outside began trying to lower the second drawbridge, Launay ordered his men to open fire. One hundred rioters were killed or wounded.
Launay’s men were able to hold the mob back, but more and more Parisians were converging on the Bastille. Around 3 p.m., a company of deserters from the French army arrived. The soldiers, hidden by smoke from fires set by the mob, dragged five cannons into the courtyard and aimed them at the Bastille. Launay raised a white flag of surrender over the fortress. Launay and his men were taken into custody, the gunpowder and cannons were seized, and the seven prisoners of the Bastille were freed. Upon arriving at the Hotel de Ville, where Launay was to be arrested by a revolutionary council, the governor was pulled away from his escort by a mob and murdered.
The capture of the Bastille symbolized the end of the ancien regime and provided the French revolutionary cause with an irresistible momentum. Joined by four-fifths of the French army, the revolutionaries seized control of Paris and then the French countryside, forcing King Louis XVI to accept a constitutional government. In 1792, the monarchy was abolished and Louis and his wife Marie-Antoinette were sent to the guillotine for treason in 1793.
By order of the new revolutionary government, the Bastille was torn down. On February 6, 1790, the last stone of the hated prison-fortress was presented to the National Assembly. Today, July 14–Bastille Day–is celebrated as a national holiday in France.
Now, the rest of the story of “14 Days In July” written in novel form by Authors Carl Baker and Marc Heberden. It has more twists and turns and inside secrets then you will ever read about in any history book. Here is what readers have said about this well written historical novel in currently 100 % all 5 Star Amazon book reviews:
14 Days in July Book Reviews:
A Best Seller For Sure!
“A page turner from the first to the last page. An absolutely outstanding read! Carl and Marc have in my opinion, have a #1 Best Seller on their hands!”
“This novel was truly amazing! I have never been to Paris, but the author describes it in such a manner, that I could picture it clearly. It was as if I were really there. The fourteen days leading up to the French Revolution are depicted vividly. The characters were all so well described and skillfully developed. The plot thickens and there are so many twists, turns, and chases throughout the streets of Paris, and also beneath the city in the forgotten catacombs. There is also another storyline about what happened 100 years before, involving a family secret that has been passed down through generations. This secret is the very core of the present day story. This novel is full of action and suspense. The reader is surprised by who turns out to be friend or foe. The romance is tender yet sizzling! It is indeed hard to put this book down once you begin to read it. I absolutely can’t wait to read the sequel!”
“This is a superb novel. It weaves together the French Revolution with the excesses of Louis XIV, the mystery of the Man In The Iron Mask, and even the Three Musketeers. I was fortunate enough to be in Paris on vacation while reading this book, and it made several of the places there come alive for me. Like the fiction of Philippa Gregory, the authors take known historical fact and fill in the unknown gaps with a plausible historical narrative. But there is a twist–for within that plausible historical narrative, there is a fascinating palace intrigue that forms a mystery in the genre of the DaVinci Code. I was especially impressed at the great care the authors took to describe the intimate details (including some steamy love scenes) seldom explored about French life before the revolution–the pathos of the proletariat and the peasants, the dissolving middle class, and the widening chasm between these classes and the insatiable appetites of the French aristocracy. I found the book riveting. It would make a great movie. Like other reviewers, I can’t wait for the sequel.!”
ABOUT THE NOVEL:
1 July 1789, Paris — Two weeks before the Revolution
France is undergoing a political upheaval unlike anything it has known before. Louis XVI is using savage mercenary forces and food blockages, to bring the people to heel. The country is a powder keg, and Paris is the fuse. In the midst of what could become bloody chaos, shadowy people— including the sinister and brutal chief of the Paris police—discover that a young Parisian laundress, Michèle Duvallier, whose fiancé is imprisoned for his political activities, knows a deadly, ancient secret that could shake France’s monarchy to its core. Michèle finds herself the object of a murderous manhunt. Her imprisoned fiancé’s citizen’s group, now led by his brother, is being chased from one hiding place to another. It is only during the fall of the Bastille that she learns why so many powerful people are hunting for her, but as well the shocking identity of who has been betraying them ….
September 1654, Burgundy — 135 years before the Revolution
A good-natured young man, an orphan, is mysteriously imprisoned with grotesque instructions to conceal his identity in such as way as to ensure he is to be forgotten for all time ….
The man in the iron mask was not a pure invention of Alexandre Dumas. The rumor of the existence of twin boys being switched, one of whom was to become Louis XIV, had been speculated on for well over a hundred years by many high sources— including Voltaire, who secretly told friends he had seen the man unmasked, and saw he was the king’s twin. But what Dumas, and no one else, wrote about, was the even more dangerous rumor that there was not only a switch, but as well … another lineage …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carl Baker, Author/Writer
Raised in the Midwest, and educated at the University of Oklahoma. Carl Baker has published numerous articles/case studies in Medicine, and lectured world-wide. Now he lives and writes in Monte Carlo, Monaco and Slidell, Louisiana, USA. This man of mystery is currently working on several novel projects.
So I am suggesting Carl’s novel to all my readers. I have not been a huge fan of historical novels, but after I read this one I enjoy them much more. I can tell you that knowing Carl Baker personally, he is a perfectionist when it comes to research and all the historical facts and locations in his novels. It’s what I feel you’ll enjoy the most about his writing, and other book readers do mention this fact in their book reviews.
One reader mentioned in his book review; By Michael Gibson “It weaves together the French Revolution with the excesses of Louis XIV, the mystery of the Man In The Iron Mask, and even the Three Musketeers. I was fortunate enough to be in Paris on vacation while reading this book, and it made several of the places there come alive for me.”
So grab your copy to read today, this week, or this weekend. It also makes a great summer vacation read as well.
Lyon Book Promotions By Author, Catherine Lyon