The Huguenot And The Tower Of Constance (eBook)
de D. C. Force
Sobre o livro
Author D.C. Force has brought another bit of lesser known history to vivid life in this novella inspired by a true story.
In the 17th century, Louis XIV of France took an old medieval tower built on the southern coastline to guard against pirates and designated it a women’s prison. A formidable stone structure completely devoid of creature comforts, with massive walls, no windows, and only arrow slits and an ocular to give air and light. The climate is hot and humid in summer while cold winds drive down from the Alps in winter. From that day until long after Louis’ death, women were buried alive and forgotten within its walls, fed nothing but bread and water by the State, and left to die a slow death of starvation and neglect.
The Tower of Constance stands today as a museum dedicated to these innocent women who were imprisoned here until freedom from religious persecution finally returned to France in the late 18th century at which time about forty were still found breathing behind its iron doors.
Hélène Charte has lived a rather privileged life but not without its tragedy. She has been a duke’s mistress and then his wife but their only son, whom she raised a Huguenot, has been driven from the country when it became known he was his Catholic father’s heir. The duke has made provisions for his beloved wife to secretly leave the country upon his death but she stalls to see him laid to rest properly and is arrested at his grave site.
It is to the Tower of Constance that Hélène is sent. Her only crime is refusing to renounce her faith and being married by a protestant pastor. Hélène uses the resources her husband provided and her own indomitable personality to survive and bring succor and small reforms to the intolerable conditions she finds everyone in, including herself.
In so doing, she attracts the attentions of the prison warden who cannot resist her beauty, her charms, and her spirited personality until he finds himself as much a prisoner as she.