Calisto. Charles Testut. Texte établi
par Elizabeth Lyles.
ISBN: 978-0-98920558-3-0. $15.98
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Testut. Texte établi par Elizabeth Lyles.
The action of Charles Testut’s
historical novel, Calisto, ricochets between Moscow and
New Orleans as he follows the vicissitudes of the German princess,
Sophie de Wolfenbuttel. Famed for her beauty, Sophie de Wolfenbuttel,
suffered the cruel fate of being married to the Czarowitz Alexis,
the sadistic son of Peter the Great. In the very heart of an empire
that prided itself in its enlightened ideals, her marriage descended
into unspeakable and barbaric violence. Beaten and left for dead
by her husband, a ruse leads Testut’s heroine to the promised
land of Louisiana where she lives in utter obscurity. Throughout
this vertiginous journey the reader encounters a multitude of seductive
characters who are all in search of a better life: exiles; a relative
of Jean-Jacques Rousseau; good-hearted peasants; military men in
the service of Louis XV; the elite of royal courts. Testut unveils
the machinations of a France struggling create an Empire yet buffeted
by political storms that seem to echo within the hurricane of 1722
that devastated the colony. Calisto gives a wink and a
nod to modernity as he offers a glimpse of a world on the edge of
being swept into a revolutionary vortex that would change forever
both the old France and her colonies in the New World.