Stranger than fiction but just as gripping, How to Ruin a Queen is a masterly exploration of the 'diamond necklace' affair.”

—Hilary Mantel, The Guardian Best Holiday Reads 2014


“The narative is like an ingenious chess game, a work of scholarship and imagination...Jonathan Beckman is the new Wilkie Collins of biographical history.”

—Michael Holroyd, award-winning biogrpaher


How to Ruin a Queen is a fascinating and impeccably-researched account of one of the great scandals of the 18th century. Jonathan Beckman is a master storyteller whose consummate skills are evident on every page.”

—Amanda Foreman, author of the bestselling Georgiana


“This rock-solid piece of scholarship, glistening with wit and insight, moves the story from the footnotes of the French Revolution… and places it centre stage.”

                                                                 The Telegraph


The account is fast-paced, colourful and rich with insights…he succeeds in knitting this improbable imbroglio into the twilight of the French monarchy.”

                                                                The Economist


A murky story of the Ancien Régime including diamonds and sex, brilliantly told.”

—Antonia Fraser, author of the bestselling Marie Antoinette


“Jonathan Beckman skilfully unfolds the intricacies and absurdities of this extraordinary episode…Beckman provides us with an engaging and finely researched study of an affair that, despite having the plot of a frothy operetta, was of genuine historical significance.”

                                                              Literary Review


“Beckman tells this scarcely believable story with flair and an astonishing quantity of detail.”

                                                                         The Times


“Jonathan Beckman has spun out of the dirty tangle of source material a clear and compelling narrative line…His book is lucid, but by no means plain. With its exuberant use of language and subtly ironic storytelling, it is almost as colourful as the scandal it explores.”

                                                                  Sunday Times


Beckman is excellent at conveying the febrile atmosphere of the French court.”

                                                            The Independent


How to Ruin a Queen is narrative history at its best. Every page is studded with detail that brings a scene to life.”

                                                                   The Observer


“It’s a hell of a tale and Jonathan Beckman gives it all the verve and swagger it deserves…I read it with fascination, delight and frequent snorts of incredulity – and I strongly suspect you will too.”

                                                                  The Spectator


“In this fascinating book, Jonathan Beckman examines the affair in detail, creating a gripping detective story and a witty revelation of a scandal that shocked Paris and galvanised Versailles.”

                                                                   —BBC History


“Beckman has gone back to the fiendishly complicated source material to construct a narrative as gripping as a heist movie…in some of the best chapters, Beckman does a brilliant job of showing how rumour swelled to flinty fact.”

                                                              Mail on Sunday


“Jonathan Beckman has tunnelled into the warren of misinformation like a badger digger and has come out with what must be as near the truth as we’ll get.”

                                                                        Daily Mail




          ► amazon

          ► barnes and noble

          ► indiebound

          ► ibooks