By Sena Jeter Naslund
Marie Antoinette was once a toddler of fourteen while her mom, the Empress of Austria, prepared for her to depart her kinfolk and her nation to turn into the spouse of the fifteen-year-old Dauphin, the long run King of France. Coming of age within the such a lot public of arenas—eager to be an outstanding spouse and powerful queen—she warmly embraces her followed state and its electorate. She indicates her new husband not anything yet love and encouragement, notwithstanding he many times fails to consummate their marriage and in so doing is not able to offer what she and the folk of France wish such a lot: a toddler and an inheritor to the throne. Deeply upset and remoted in her personal intimate circle, and except the social lifetime of the courtroom, she permits herself to stay blind to the country's transforming into fiscal and political crises, at the same time bad harvests, sour winters, struggle money owed, and poverty precipitate uprising and revenge. The younger queen, as soon as cherished by means of the typical folks, turns into a goal of scorn, cruelty, and hatred as she, the court's nobles, and the remainder of the royal relatives are stuck up within the nightmarish violence of a murderous time referred to as "the Terror." With penetrating perception and with wondrous narrative ability, Sena Jeter Naslund deals an intimate, clean, heartbreaking, and dramatic reimagining of this really compelling lady that is going a long way past well known myth—and she makes a bygone time of tumultuous switch as genuine to us because the one we live in now.
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Extra resources for Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette (P.S.)
A MISTAKE AT THE CHÂTEAU DE LA MUETTE It is a supper party, and lightning glimmers around the edges of the drawn curtains. They are a heavy yellow damask, and no light passes through them, but around them leak the silver flashes of a storm, though it is far away. The thunder is a mere low growl, as though lions as far away as Africa were roaring. Although I feel hungry, it seems impossible to do more than nibble from the edges of the elaborate dishes endlessly presented. I wish for two simple apples in a blue bowl.
He is much at ease, I see, with girls my age, glancing at me quickly but fully and then away. He is telling me of his own mother, who also came from far away to join the royal family, who died when His Majesty was only two, but, he says, that for a moment when he saw me, I reminded him of the goodness and charm of his own girlish mother. “I think she would have been as spontaneous as you,” he tells me, and he is imagining and enjoying again how I glided straight to him and fell humbly upon my knees.
I don’t think so, nor do I want to be. She is my darling, and my mother says I may still write to her, but our letters should be channeled through Vienna. When I was married at home, ceremonially, in a gown of glittering silver that spread behind me like a wing, my brother, the graceful Ferdinand, substituted for Louis Auguste and represented the groom. I represented myself. At the altar in the Church of the Augustine Friars, when I knelt with Ferdinand, most seriously, I hoped he would wink, or at least smile.
Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette (P.S.) by Sena Jeter Naslund