After graduating from Douglass College as an English and French major, Victoria traveled throughout France and other European countries, taking the roads traversed by Germaine de Stael, who engaged her interest during French literature courses. Schmidt spent more than twenty years researching her subject, visiting residences of Madame de Stael, attending colloquia of the Societe Staelienne, and interviewing both descendants and scholars of de Stael. The result is "Triumph in Exile."
A fictionalized account of the life of Germaine De Stael, this is the story of how this remarkable woman - motivated by uncompromising principles and fortified by her wealth - helped to bring down an unbridled tyrant and alter the course of history in France and the rest of the world.
"Finally we have a definitive bio-novel of the passionate, ambitious woman who often led the political forces of eighteenth century France. The Baroness Germaine de Stael is given her due by Victoria D. Schmidt, and French history will never be the same. This fact-based novel sets the record straight. Germaine de Stael's power was endless, her talents limitless and her ability to influence the destiny of France legendary."
-Wilkie Smith Leith, English Faculty, Former Director, University Writing Center George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
"As Schmidt augments the documentary record by inventing motivations for its characters, setting them within colorfully descriptive settings, and lending them spirited dialogues of her own devising, she brings her fantastic narrative, whether "true" or not, into vivid relief. Triumph in Exile will entertain, surprise and challenge modern readers"
-Madelyn Gutwirth, Professor Emerita, French and Women's studies, Westchester University, Westchester Pennslyvania
"Here is a superb novel about a woman born in 1766 whose intellectual daring and infectious audiacty astonish us even now. English-speaking readers who have never before enountered Germaine