By Sena Jeter Naslund
Marie Antoinette was once a baby of fourteen whilst her mom, the Empress of Austria, prepared for her to go away her family members and her nation 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 an exceptional spouse and powerful queen—she warmly embraces her followed kingdom and its electorate. She exhibits her new husband not anything yet love and encouragement, although 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 so much: a toddler and an inheritor to the throne. Deeply upset and remoted in her personal intimate circle, and except the social lifetime of the court docket, she permits herself to stay blind to the country's growing to be monetary and political crises, whilst terrible harvests, sour winters, battle money owed, and poverty precipitate uprising and revenge. The younger queen, as soon as liked by way of the typical folks, turns into a objective of scorn, cruelty, and hatred as she, the court's nobles, and the remainder of the royal family members 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 actually compelling lady that is going a ways 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.)
I think of Charlotte and how she made the coach stop. She was leaving Vienna to go to Naples and live a married life, but she stopped the coach so she could descend and hug me farewell once more. When we embraced, our bodies melted together, and I could not tell which was Charlotte and which was I. To my surprise, behind our hats, she kissed me right on the lips and whispered I will always love you best, my beautiful little sister. The Dauphin will close his eyes and I will close mine and then I will feel his lips covering mine.
You, too, will be a stranger and a subject, she told me, drawing me to sit on her knee. Because her stomach is so large, her knee was a small perch, and I feared I might slip right off the black satin. The Empress said she also had told Charlotte not to draw comparisons between Austrian customs and those of Naples. Charlotte, like yourself, has been chosen as a queen, not a mere duchess, like Amalia, she said to me, and I could tell that she loved Charlotte more, though she loves Marie Christine most of all and let her marry somebody she knew—Albert.
His eye is pleased with my face and figure. He likes me. Now I fly to him, fling myself upon my knees before him, my brother in royalty, my dear grandfather, who will be my papa, the King. Confused by his greatness, I cannot move, but quickly he takes me in his arms, raising me up and kissing me again and again on both cheeks. I can scarcely contain my joy at his fatherly proximity and the strong sincerity of his welcome. Modestly, I look down, but I have seen his eyes, his approval! To think, it is my own self, arrived, that he holds between his hands.
Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette (P.S.) by Sena Jeter Naslund