In the Shadow of the Empress: The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters

In the Shadow of the Empress: The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters

by Nancy Goldstone
In the Shadow of the Empress: The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters

In the Shadow of the Empress: The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters

by Nancy Goldstone

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Overview

The vibrant, sprawling saga of Empress Maria Theresa—one of the most renowned women rulers in history—and three of her extraordinary daughters, including Marie Antoinette, the doomed queen of France.

Out of the thrilling and tempestuous eighteenth century comes the sweeping family saga of beautiful Maria Theresa, a sovereign of uncommon strength and vision, the only woman ever to inherit and rule the vast Habsburg Empire in her own name, and three of her remarkable daughters: lovely, talented Maria Christina, governor-general of the Austrian Netherlands; spirited Maria Carolina, the resolute queen of Naples; and the youngest, Marie Antoinette, the glamorous, tragic queen of France, and perhaps the most famous princess in history.
 
Unfolding against an irresistible backdrop of brilliant courts from Vienna to Versailles, embracing the exotic lure of Naples and Sicily, this epic history of Maria Theresa and her daughters is a tour de force of desire, adventure, ambition, treachery, sorrow, and glory.
 
Each of these women’s lives was packed with passion and heart-stopping suspense. Maria Theresa inherited her father’s thrones at the age of twenty-three and was immediately attacked on all sides by foreign powers confident that a woman would to be too weak to defend herself. Maria Christina, a gifted artist who alone among her sisters succeeded in marrying for love, would face the same dangers that destroyed the monarchy in France. Resourceful Maria Carolina would usher in the golden age of Naples only to face the deadly whirlwind of Napoleon. And, finally, Marie Antoinette, the doomed queen whose stylish excesses and captivating notoriety have masked the truth about her husband and herself for two hundred and fifty years.
 
Vividly written and deeply researched, In the Shadow of the Empress is the riveting story of four exceptional women who changed the course of history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316449304
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/20/2022
Pages: 640
Sales rank: 516,596
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Nancy Goldstone is the author of six previous books including Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots; The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom; The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc; Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe; and The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily. She has also coauthored six books with her husband, Lawrence Goldstone. She lives in Del Mar, California.

Table of Contents

Maps xii

Selected Genealogy xvii

Introduction 3

Part I Maria Theresa

1 An Imperial Decree 11

2 Archduchess of Austria 21

3 Queen of Hungary 36

4 Queen of Bohemia 55

5 Holy Roman Empress 75

6 Imperial Affairs 104

7 The Sisterhood of the Three Petticoats 126

Part II Three Imperial princesses: MARIA christina, Maria Carolina, and Marie Antoinette

8 The Favorite 141

9 An Archduchess in Love 163

10 The Understudy 193

11 Queen OF Naples 210

12 The Little One 231

13 Dauphine of France 243

14 An Imperial Divide 273

15 The Queen Takes Control 301

16 Queen of France 323

17 Diamonds and Debt 343

Part III In the Shadow of the Empress

18 Betrayal in Brussels 373

19 The Queen Takes a Stand 399

20 A Desperate Gamble 415

21 Terror and Tragedy 446

22 A Death in Vienna 471

23 The Lady, the Lord Admiral, and the Queen 495

24 The Corsican and the Queen 520

Epilogue 546

Acknowledgments 551

Notes 553

Selected Bibliography 585

Illustration Credits 593

Index 597

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