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In his only work of political satire, The Short Reign of Pippin IV, John Steinbeck turns the French Revolution upside down as amateur astronomer Pippin Héristal is drafted to rule the unruly French. Steinbeck creates around the infamous Pippin the most hilarious royal court ever: Pippin’s wife, Queen Marie, who “might have taken her place at the bar of a very good restaurant”; his uncle, a man of dubious virtue; his glamour-struck daughter and her beau, the son of the so-called “egg king” of Petaluma, California; and a motley crew of courtiers and politicians, guards and gardeners. This edition includes an introduction by Robert Morsberger and Katharine Morsberger.

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