When Lucienne Reneault receives an invitation to a Bal des Victimes, a masquerade dance in honor of those aristocrats who have been guillotined, she believes it must have been a mistake. Of two things she is certain, however: she will attend the ball. And she will have her revenge.
A Tumblr post was the main inspiration for this novel. I had never heard of the victim’s balls, and the idea fascinated me. I did a little research and discovered that it’s very unlikely these balls took place. I couldn’t shake the image of a girl dressed in a white gown with a red ribbon around her neck walking into ball looking to murder someone, and so this novel was born.
Robiquet, Jean. Daily life in the French Revolution. Translated from the French by James Kirkup. New York : The Macmillan Company, 1965.
Schechter, Ronald. “Gothic Thermidor: The Bals des victimes, the Fantastic, and the Production of Historical Knowledge in Post-Terror France.” Representations, No. 61, Special Issue: Practices of Enlightenment (University of California Press, Winter 1998), pp. 78- 94.
Previous Covers (and Titles)
The first draft was titled “The Red Ribbon” in reference to the red ribbon worn by guests at Victim’s Balls, which symbolized the guillotine. I changed the title because in the end, the red ribbon was not a major theme.