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Annual Big Read Event Transports Participants to French Baroque Court

By Andrew Goodell

Because the Big Read selection this year, The Shadow Queen, by San Miguel Writers’ Conference keynote speaker Sandra Gulland, takes place in the French court of Louis the XIV, we are going to take you there in a spectacular evening of video, drama, mini-lectures, live music, and even seventeenth-century French snacks!

The evening will include a number of events centered on the seventeenth-century Baroque French court. The program will include a historical presentation of life at court during the reign of Louis XIV and a short talk on theater of the period; a delightful Baroque music performance; actors performing a dramatic reading from the book; a video presentation from our author, Sandra Gulland, who will discuss some aspects of her book and how she came to write about this specific period and this particular story; and finally, you may find yourself able to sample a very special tasty treat or two that appeared in the book!

About the book and author

Sandra Gulland’s novel, The Shadow Queen, is inspired by the true story of a young woman who rises from poverty to become confidante to the most powerful, provocative, and dangerous woman in the French court: the mistress of the charismatic “Sun King,” Louis XIV, who ruled France from 1643 to 1715.

By selecting this juicy novel, we are spotlighting historical fiction, one of the most popular genres in literature today. Since Gulland is a prolific writer, readers who enjoy the novel will be able to turn to her other enthralling novels.

An American-born Canadian novelist, Sandra Gulland splits her time between San Miguel de Allende and Ontario, Canada. She has published five books, including two that are set in the court of Louis XIV, and a trilogy based on the life of Josephine Bonaparte. She is currently at work on her sixth novel.

Discussion groups

The Big Read also offers special discussion groups about the novel. To join one, sign up at this event on January 14 or contact Nancy Stich at

Elegant brunch

And finally, everyone who participates in a Big Read discussion group will be invited to meet the author on February 10 at an intimate brunch at an exclusive San Miguel home and garden, and enjoy some one-on-one time with this remarkable writer.

To purchase the book

The book will be available for purchase at the January 14 event. It is also for sale at the Literary Sala Bookstore in the Tesoros shop at the Biblioteca, Insurgentes 25.

Additional details and a chance to sign up for discussion groups can be found on the webpage at You can also contact Nancy Stich at

Bienvenue à une soirée en France!


San Miguel Annual Big Read presents

“Travel With Us to Seventeenth-Century France”

Video, Drama, Mini-lectures, Live Music, Cuisine

Mon, Jan 14, 5–6:30pm

Hotel Posada de Aldea

Ancha de San Antonio 15

100 pesos


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