MARIE ANTOINETTE'S DAUGHTER by Alice Curtis Desmond

MARIE ANTOINETTE'S DAUGHTER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When Marie Antoinette's daughter was born in 1778, France was on the brink of the Revolution which would deprive the young girl of her royal status and of her family. Therese, petted by her father but ignored by her mother in favor of her brother, survived the three of them after imprisonment in the Tuileries and the Temple Tower. Exiled and penniless, she went first to the Austrian court and then to her uncle Louis XVIII, where she married his son the Duke d'Angouleme. Her husband's impotence (tactfully and circumspectly treated) condemned her to be childless, but she was able to mother her nephew Henri, Dauphin during the brief restoration. An intimate and detailed account of the princess whose life was determined by vacillating intrigues, this life-to-death biography fully characterizes all who knew her. The author's personal involvement with her subject (leading her to follow Therese' wanderings across Europe in a quest described in the afterword) doesn't lead her into oversentimentality, though emotions are affectingly described. An impressive list of primary sources may explain why the invented dialogue seems natural. The title is provocative and provoking; the text is mature, honest and informative.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1967
Publisher: Dodd, Mead