The ill-fated Queen of France
In popular memory some historical figures, Richard III and George Armstrong Custer among them, are fated to be forever viewed negatively. Some act or phrase-often of dubious veracity-adheres and subordinates all else concerning them. Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, an Austrian princess was lucklessly doomed to be married to a King of France as the monarchy was about to be bloodily sliced away by a peoples revolution and courtesy of Monsieur Guillotine's ingenious invention. Allegedly upon hearing that the poor had no bread, she callously commented, 'Let them eat cake' and so every school child (if secretly) thought she deserved all that came her way. Predictably the truth bears closer examination-in fact that phrase was in print in France long before young Marie Antoinette set foot in the country. In truth, her honeymoon period with the French people was short lived and she became victim to all manner of rumours and accusations throughout most of her reign. Nevertheless, she was a liberalising influence on the King and court, was interested in arts and sciences and in difficult times demonstrated more political judgement and leadership than her vacillating husband. As tensions mounted in France she calmly continued with her civic and charitable responsibilities. This is a fascinating account of the fall of the Bourbon monarchy from the Queen's perspective-a good, intelligent person in the wrong place at the wrong time. Available in softcover and hardback with dust jacket.