Sunday, 5 September 2021

Book Review - The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris By Steve M. Gnatz. @maryanneyarde


The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris

By Steve M. Gnatz


1776: Benjamin Franklin sails to Paris, carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence, freshly signed. His charge: gain the support of France for the unfolding American Revolution. Yet Paris is a city of distractions. Ben’s lover, Marianne Davies, will soon arrive, and he yearns to rekindle his affair with the beautiful musician. 

Dr. Franz Mesmer has plans for Marianne too. He has taken Parisian nobility by storm with his discovery of magnétisme animale, a mysterious force claimed to heal the sick. Marianne’s ability to channel Mesmer’s phenomena is key to his success.

A skeptical King Louis XVI appoints Ben to head a commission investigating the astonishing magnétisme animale. By nature, Ben requires proof. Can he scientifically prove that it does not exist? Mesmer will stop at nothing to protect his profitable claim. 

The Wisdom of The Flock explores the conflict between science and mysticism in a time rife with revolution, love, spies, and passion.

Book Rating:

📚📚📚📚📚⭐ = A book in a million

📚📚📚📚📚 = I could not put this book down. I Highly Recommend it.

📚📚📚📚 = A really great read.

📚📚📚 = It was enjoyable.

📚📚 = It was okay.

📚 = Um...! 😕

My Review

The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris

📚📚📚📚📚 = I could not put this book down. I Highly Recommend it.

Benjamin Franklin "The First American," lived an extraordinary life and although I do not know all the ins and outs of his life, I was really looking forward to reading this novel with the hope that I would have a small glimpse into this man's life. This story is set in Paris in the latter part of his life. The history books tell us that Benjamin was a lecherous womanizer and this has been depicted with careful attention to the historical sources of Benjamin's life. At times this made for some cringe induced reading, after all, he is in his seventies and his lust knows no bounds, but I thought it was also an honest interpretation of his life.

His time in Paris is shrouded in mystery - what was he doing there? And having been branded a traitor by the English one can only assume the reason was of vast importance. Steve M. Gnatz has certainly penned a plausible reason.

I thought the depiction of Franz Mesmer was well-drawn and it certainly shone a light on his beliefs and his discovery of magnétisme animale. Doctor Mesmer claims to be able to cure the sick, although he doesn’t reveal how. Mesmer asks people to have faith, to simply believe, while Franklin is desperate to know how Mesmer heals people, to understand the science behind it. I, for one, agree with Franklin, and over the course of this novel I grew incredibly interested in the practice, and ended up researching it after I had finished reading!

Like many books, there is relationship drama. Franklin had an affair with Marianne Davies several years previous, and when they rekindle their relationship. Marianne becomes very involved with magnétisme animale, and her involvement with both Franklin and Mesmer made for a very riveting story as I tried to guess the outcome of both relationships.

This is an incredibly interesting book, and I greatly enjoyed learning about the world that Franklin and Mesmer lived in. I found this book very educational, as well as intriguing, and I loved reading it!

You can pick up your copy of this book on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, Amazon AU, Barnes and Noble, and Waterstones. This novel is also available on #KindleUnlimited.

Book Trailer

Steve Gnatz is a writer, physician, bicyclist, photographer, traveler, and aspiring ukulele player. The son of a history professor and a nurse, it seems that both medicine and history are in his blood. Writing historical fiction came naturally. An undergraduate degree in biology was complemented by a minor in classics. After completing medical school, he embarked on an academic medical career specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. There was little time for writing during those years, other than research papers and a technical primer on electromyography. Now retired from the practice of medicine, he devotes himself to the craft of fiction. The history of science is of particular interest, but also the dynamics of human relationships. People want to be good scientists, but sometimes human nature gets in the way. That makes for interesting stories. When not writing or traveling, he enjoys restoring Italian racing bicycles at home in Chicago with his wife and daughters.

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1 comment:

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