By Sena Jeter Naslund
Marie Antoinette used to be a baby of fourteen while her mom, the Empress of Austria, prepared for her to depart her relations and her state to develop into the spouse of the fifteen-year-old Dauphin, the longer term King of France. Coming of age within the such a lot public of arenas—eager to be a great spouse and powerful queen—she warmly embraces her followed state and its voters. 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 hope so much: a baby and an inheritor to the throne. Deeply disenchanted and remoted in her personal intimate circle, and except the social lifetime of the court docket, she permits herself to stay unaware of the country's transforming into fiscal and political crises, whilst terrible harvests, sour winters, struggle accounts, and poverty precipitate uprising and revenge. The younger queen, as soon as cherished via the typical folks, turns into a objective of scorn, cruelty, and hatred as she, the court's nobles, and the remainder of the royal kin are stuck up within the nightmarish violence of a murderous time known 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 girl 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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Additional info for Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette (P.S.)
Mine is a graceful body—made strong by dancing and riding—and of a milky porcelain color. Recently a few curly threads emerged from the triangle between my legs. Squeezing my thighs together, I try to shelter this delicate garden because my new hair seems frail and flimsy. The French word for him, the prince who will become my husband and king, is Dauphin, and the French word for me, who will be his bride, is the same, but with a small letter e, curled like a snail in its flinty house, at the end of the word: Dauphine.
The French word for him, the prince who will become my husband and king, is Dauphin, and the French word for me, who will be his bride, is the same, but with a small letter e, curled like a snail in its flinty house, at the end of the word: Dauphine. I have many French words to learn. My darling Austrian ladies sail around me in their bright silk dresses—cerise, and emerald, deep blue-with-yellow-stripes; their throats and sleeves bedecked with frothy, drooping lace. Like dancers, they bend and swoop to gather the garments I’ve shed; other ladies, standing patiently, hold my new French clothing folded across their forearms, cloth of gold and filmy lavender.
The carriage wheels will roll down many days, with stops along the way, before I meet the Dauphin and the King. It is the King above all others whom I must please (but my husband, Monsieur le Dauphin, as well, of course), so says my mother, for the King has the right to send me back if he chooses. As we jiggle along, I draw from a soft red morocco case all tooled with gold a map of the entire route from Schönbrunn to the heart of France. I carefully spread the map across my lap and study those places marked for me to note.