Coming May 2024
New Orleans, 1795. In the wake of The Terror of the French Revolution, Alix de Morainville Carpentier—a former lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette, now married to her gardener—seeks peace and security in the Spanish colony of Louisiana. But her journey into the man-eating swamp called Attakapas reopens the wounds of her former life in France and forces her to reckon with the choices that saved her life at the cost of her honor—and perhaps her soul.
Based on Strange True Stories of Louisiana by George Washington Cable (1888), To Crown with Liberty contrasts the death of the Old World in Revolutionary France—from rural Normandy to the court of Versailles and the September Massacres that launched The Terror—with the wilderness of Spanish Louisiana, where a new civilization is just beginning to emerge. It follows the political and religious cataclysm that turns a quest for liberty, fraternity, and equality into a nightmare where the price of dissent is blood. The budding New World offers no real reprieve, as the slave trade perpetuates the systems of oppression that sparked the Revolution. Yet despite her deep scars of trauma and loss, Alix still strives to find a home where she can truly be free.
“Ullo brings us a deep and compelling look into tragedy and triumph, loss and love, desperation and determination that showcases the most beautiful and horrible facets of humanity. Never have I seen the French Revolution, and the spirit of those who went on to build a new world for themselves, as fully as in these pages. This is what historical fiction is meant to be!” —Roseanna M. White, bestselling, Christy-Award winning author of the Codebreakers series
“Historical fiction provides readers with a means to relive history in a creative and imaginative manner. Karen Ullo’s novel about the French Revolution and its aftermath splendidly achieves this goal, offering an enticing look at this incredibly complex era in French history.” —Rev. Ronald D. Witherup, P.S.S., former Superior General of the Society of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice
“In stepping into the pages of To Crown with Liberty the reader steps into revolutionary France and colonial Louisiana. We find ourselves living among those who are fighting for their lives and struggling with conscience-seducing temptation in times of terror. Ultimately, we find ourselves led into the dark on a quest for light and life.” —Joseph Pearce, author of Catholic Literary Giants
“A tour de force! Weaving together fact and fiction with characteristic imagination and exquisite prose, Ullo presents a spellbinding account of radical politics, mob violence, and personal trauma. To Crown with Liberty leaves a lasting impact.” —Eleanor Bourg Nicholson, author of A Bloody Habit and Brother Wolf
“Karen Ullo’s To Crown With Liberty skillfully weaves together formative events from the French Revolution with the early history of Louisiana, crafting an engaging tale that speaks to enthusiasts of both early American and early modern European history alike. A great story in its own right, it could also serve as an historical fiction addendum to a period history course.” —Phillip Campbell, author of Story of Civilization