QUEEN OF FRANCE by Andre Castelot


Email this review


When Marie Antoniette arrived from Austria to become the Dauphins, the wife of Louis (XVI) Capet, and the Queen of France, she was much too preoccupied with the gaiety and extensiveness of the nuptial ceremonies and celebrations to suspect the impending horror which was eventually to take her life. Here is a chronological biography of the woman who was called ""That Austrian Bitch"", the woman who in the face of a starving people elected to continue the trivialities of her coterie, her masked balls, the mixing with people of low degree, the court intrigues and the petty jealousies. From the day that the 14 year old girl with the magnificent complexion and mocking smile left Vienna to that day when she lay, her head chopped off and lying between her legs, Marie Antoniette was the talk of France. In the beginning she was their gay darling who had the misfortune to be married to the dumpy, temporarily impotent Louis XVI. Her scandalous behavior, however, coupled with her pusillanimous attitude to her subjects culminated in their wrath and her decapitation. Her relationships with Madame Du Barry, the mistress of the old King; Exel Ferson, that handsome Swede who loved her with sincerity and devotion; her courtiers, ministers, her husband, these are described with maximal interest. The flight to Varennes, the trial, the gory end are told with verisimilitude. Mr. Castelot's abundance of detail vivifies his material without weighing it down.

Pub Date: June 26th, 1957
Publisher: Harper