Black Tower (Bayard) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions 
1. In The Black Tower, Louis Bayard depicts a Paris that has gone through many political and social upheavals. How have the attempts to sweep away the past failed? Are countries able to shed their history completely?

2. The relationship between parent and child is a theme that plays out throughout the book. How are the characters' lives affected by the actions of their parents?

3. How can the senior Dr. Carpentier reconcile the things he did and saw in the Temple with his medical ethics? How do his notes reflect the change in his feelings? Why do you think he never told his family of his experiences?

4. How does the relationship between Hector and Vidocq evolve over time? Does it ever approach an equal partnership?

5. How much of Vidocq's personality is shaped by his past? How much is a self-creation?

6. Vidocq is considered by many to be the father of modern detection. How are his methods different from today's? How are they the same? In what ways did Vidocq's policing techniques represent a departure from his predecessors?

7. What is the significance of the Baroness having different-colored eyes? How are her actions shaped by her experience as an emigré?

8. Hector comments that the Duchesse d'Angouleme left the Temple but the Temple never left her. What does he mean by that? How is the Duchess changed by her contact with Charles?

9. Even after the French Revolution, Paris was visibly split between the upper and lower classes. How does that division play out in criminal terms? Do the events of The Black Tower predict, in any way, the ultimate downfall of the Bourbon dynasty?

10. Do you believe Charles was the lost dauphin? How would history have been different if Louis the Seventeenth had reclaimed his throne?
(Questions issued by publisher.)

top of page (summary)

 

Site by BOOM Boom Supercreative

LitLovers © 2021