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 kingdom to turn into the spouse of the fifteen-year-old Dauphin, the long run King of France. Coming of age within the so much public of arenas—eager to be a great spouse and robust queen—she warmly embraces her followed kingdom 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 provide what she and the folks of France wish such a lot: a toddler 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 turning out to be financial and political crises, whilst negative harvests, sour winters, battle money owed, and poverty precipitate uprising and revenge. The younger queen, as soon as loved via 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 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 lady that is going some distance past renowned 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 resources for Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette (P.S.)
Once inside the cathedral, I can barely see my way in the dim light. The prince takes my hand to guide me toward the altar to receive the sacraments. I can feel the jeweled rings on his soft fingers. It is the hand of hypocrisy and immorality, and I feel besmirched by it. Nonetheless, before entering again the coach that is to bear me away, I experience a reluctance to leave this most hospitable town of Strasbourg. As I mount the step into the coach, upholstered this time in blue, my smile is steady; my heart quakes and trembles only a little.
Flowers perfume the air. Some of the matrons wear peonies in their hair, and maidens have threaded white lilies in their tresses. For the men and lads, boutonnières—bright yellow jonquils—trumpet their goodwill and stud their shirts like medals. Clear and fresh, their speeches of welcome ring out in the spring air. At the end, I speak a few words of thanks and of appreciation for the beauty of the city and of the celebration. My words carry for some distance into the crowd, and then I see people turning around to tell those behind them what I have said, and those, in turn, turn around and tell the people behind them, so that like a ripple the content of my sentences is conveyed outward, as far as my eye can see.
At any moment my heart might stop beating. I press my fingertips against my breastbone. Very faintly, I feel the thumping behind the bone. And yet, you were born to become a queen, my mother the Empress went on. We believe in the divine right of kings and queens to rule, just as we believe in the right of God to do with us as He wills. People are born to their station in life, still you must take instruction now, and by letter, when you are away in France, as how best to prepare yourself for the day when God will take His Majesty Louis XV to heaven, and you and the Dauphin will become the King and Queen.
Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette (P.S.) by Sena Jeter Naslund