The Short Reign of Pippin IV

The Short Reign of Pippin IV

"The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication" is a novel by John Steinbeck published in 1957; his only political satire, the book pokes fun at French politics.

Plot summary

"Pippin IV" explores the life of Pippin Héristal, an amateur astronomer suddenly proclaimed the king of France. Unknowingly appointed for the sole reason of giving the Communists a monarchy to revolt against, Pippin was chosen because he was rumored to descend from the famous king Charlemagne. Unhappy with his lack of privacy, alteration of family life, uncomfortable housings at the Palace of Versailles and mostly, his lack of a telescope, the protagonist spends a portion of the novel dressing up as a commoner, often riding a motorscooter, to avoid the constrained monarchial life. Pippin IV eventually receives his wish of dethronement after the people of France finally enact the rebellion Pippin's kingship was destined to receive.

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