Author: will bashor
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Publishing Date: 2016
This compelling book begins on the 2nd of August 1793, the day Marie Antoinette was torn from her family s arms and escorted from the Temple to the Conciergerie, a thick-walled fortress turnedprison. It was also known as the waiting room for the guillotine because prisoners only spent a day or two here before their conviction and subsequent execution. The ex-queen surely knew her days were numbered, but she could never have known that two and a half months would pass before she would finally stand trial and be convicted of the most ungodly charges. Will Bashor traces the final days of the prisoner registered only as Widow Capet, No. 280, a time that was a cruel mixture of grandeur, humiliation, and terror. Marie Antoinette s reign amidst the splendors of the court of Versailles is a familiar story, but her final imprisonment in a fetid, dank dungeon is a little-known coda to a once-charmed life. Her seventy-six days in this terrifying prison can only be described as the darkest and most horrific of the fallen queen s life, vividly recaptured in this richly researched history."
(From France Book Tours)
For a long while I simply didn't understand why French Revolution was so popular and why the monarchs, Marie Antoinette in particular, inspired novels and stories in historical fiction (similar to how Tudors and Regency stories dominate historical fiction as well as romance) but after reading this book, I finally understand why the story is so popular, and why even today we see Marie Antoinette more as a victim rather than a perpetrator, and why so many people were inspired to help her and her family during the darkest days. Granted the glitter and glamour are far more attractive to readers, but the real self, I believe, emerges in the darkest of times, which is what the author has shown in the book through research and storytelling. I know the result, what happened to Marie Antoinette, but despite that, I hoped for the best for her and her family, and perhaps its through these dark times that Marie Antoinette became a tragic heroine.
This is for France Book Tours
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)