elena maria vidal

   On January 20, 1793, Louis XVI said farewell to his family. He was to be guillotined the next morning. Madame Royale later recorded their last meeting; it is said that she fainted when saying good-bye to her father.

About seven o'clock in the evening we learned the sentence by the newsmen, who came crying it under our windows: a decree of the Convention permitted us to see the King. We ran to his apartment, and found him much altered; he wept for us, not for fear of death; he related his trial to my mother, apologizing for the wretches who had condemned him; he told her, that it was proposed to attempt to save him by having recourse to the primary assemblies, but that he would not consent, lest it should excite confusion in the country. He then gave my brother some religious advice, and desired, him above all, to forgive those who caused his death and he gave him his blessing, as well as to me.

   My mother was very desirous that the whole family should pass the night with my father; but he opposed this, observing to her how much he needed some hours of repose and quiet. She asked at least to be allowed to see him next morning, to which he consented. But, when we were gone, he requested that we might not be permitted to return, as our presence afflicted him too much. He then remained with his confessor till midnight, when he went to bed….

Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars: Her Life, Her Times, Her Legacy - Elena Maria Vidal

A non-exhaustive list of English-language books about Marie Antoinette

General Biographies

Marie Antoinette: The Tragic Queen by Dorothy Moulton Mayer
Marie Antoinette by Desmond Seward
Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser
The Indomitable Marie Antoinette by Simone Bertière
Marie Antoinette: Portrait of an Average Woman by Stefan Zweig
Louis and Antoinette by Vincent Cronin
Marie Antoinette by Andre Castelot

Other Non-Fiction

Marie Antoinette: Writings on the Body of a Queen edited by Dena Goodman
The Wicked Queen: The Origins of the Myth of Marie Antoinette by Chantal Thomas
Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Carolyn Weber
A Day with Marie Antoinette by Hélène Delalex
Secrets of Marie Antoinette by Olivier Bernier
Marie Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars by Elena Maria Vidal

Fiction

Trianon: A Novel of Royal France by Elena Maria Vidal
Farewell, My Queen by Chantal Thomas
Flaunting, Extravagant Queen by Jean Plaidy
Marie Antoinette Trilogy by Juliet Grey
The Queen’s Confession by Victoria Holt
Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund
Versailles: A Novel by Kathryn Davis
Marie Antoinette by F.W. Kenyon

Youth Fiction

Marie Antoinette, Princess of Versailles by Kathryn Lasky
The Secret Diary of a Princess by Melanie Clegg
The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie Antoinette by Carolyn Meyer
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Court of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky
Moi & Marie Antoinette by Lynn Cullen

6

Sadly, the picture many people now have of Antoinette is of her running through Versailles with a glass of champagne in her hand, eating bonbons all day long, and rolling in the bushes with a lover. In reality, she was a teetotaler who ate frugally. She was notorious for her intense modesty. Even some prominent biographers, who have insisted upon the possibility of an affair with Swedish Count Axel von Fersen, have had to admit that there is no solid evidence.

Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars - Elena Maria Vidal

3

He was shocked. From everything Tante Adelaide had said, he had half-expected a bold, flaunting woman like Madame du Barry. But his wife did not appear to be more than twelve years old! He had been told she was fifteen; he soon discovered she was only fourteen. Heavy powdering covered her hair, reported to be of a reddish colour, as his brothers had liked to tease him. With a high forehead, a thin, aquiline nose, the full Hapsburg lower lip, hers was a comely and bewitching visage. Her large sapphire eyes looked into his own, with unabashed curiosity. His feeling of consernation combined with a strong urge of protectiveness towards this foreign child. Somehow, he must shield her from the intrigues of the court. He himself was not quite sixteen; he did not know how he could protect her, just as he did not know how he could be expected to be a husband to such a little girl. In an instant, he realized he would have to wait to love her, wait for her to grow up, giving himself time to win her affection and respect.

Trianon, Elena Maria Vidal

3

He was shocked. From everything Tante Adelaide had said, he had half-expected a bold, flaunting woman like Madame du Barry. But his wife did not appear to be more than twelve years old! He had been told she was fifteen; he soon discovered she was only fourteen. Heavy powdering covered her hair, reported to be of a reddish colour, as his brothers had liked to tease him. With a high forehead, a thin, aquiline nose, the full Hapsburg lower lip, hers was a comely and bewitching visage. Her large sapphire eyes looked into his own, with unabashed curiosity. His feeling of consernation combined with a strong urge of protectiveness towards this foreign child. Somehow, he must shield her from the intrigues of the court. He himself was not quite sixteen; he did not know how he could protect her, just as he did not know how he could be expected to be a husband to such a little girl. In an instant, he realized he would have to wait to love her, wait for her to grow up, giving himself time to win her affection and respect.

Trianon, Elena Maria Vidal

He was shocked. From everything Tante Adelaide had said, he had half-expected a bold, flaunting woman like Madame du Barry. But his wife did not appear to be more than twelve years old! He had been told she was fifteen; he soon discovered she was only fourteen. Heavy powdering covered her hair, reported to be of a reddish colour, as his brothers had liked to tease him. With a high forehead, a thin, aquiline nose, the full Hapsburg lower lip, hers was a comely and bewitching visage. Her large sapphire eyes looked into his own, with unabashed curiosity. His feeling of consernation combined with a strong urge of protectiveness towards this foreign child. Somehow, he must shield her from the intrigues of the court. He himself was not quite sixteen; he did not know how he could protect her, just as he did not know how he could be expected to be a husband to such a little girl. In an instant, he realized he would have to wait to love her, wait for her to grow up, giving himself time to win her affection and respect.

Trianon, Elena Maria Vidal

He was shocked. From everything Tante Adelaide had said, he had half-expected a bold, flaunting woman like Madame du Barry. But his wife did not appear to be more than twelve years old! He had been told she was fifteen; he soon discovered she was only fourteen. Heavy powdering covered her hair, reported to be of a reddish colour, as his brothers had liked to tease him. With a high forehead, a thin, aquiline nose, the full Hapsburg lower lip, hers was a comely and bewitching visage. Her large sapphire eyes looked into his own, with unabashed curiosity. His feeling of consernation combined with a strong urge of protectiveness towards this foreign child. Somehow, he must shield her from the intrigues of the court. He himself was not quite sixteen; he did not know how he could protect her, just as he did not know how he could be expected to be a husband to such a little girl. In an instant, he realized he would have to wait to love her, wait for her to grow up, giving himself time to win her affection and respect.

Trianon, Elena Maria Vidal

One of the jurors rose. “Citizen President, the accused has not fully replied concerning the incident mentioned by Citizen Hébert, regarding what allegedly happened between herself and her son.”

The Queen rose to her feet. “If I did not reply, it was because nature recoils at such an accusation against a mother.” She turned to the galleries. “I appeal to all the mothers who may be here!” A stir broke out among the spectators. The tricoteuses all began talking at once, and a few of them cheered her, with boos and hisses at Hébert. They were generally disgusted with him. The judges and jurors whispered among themselves. Hermann had to suspend the proceedings for two hours, after which they continued again until eleven o’clock at night.

Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars: Her Life, Her Times, Her Legacy - Elena Maria Vidal

In the months that followed she saw him sink into a silent stupor, as if he was withdrawing from life. It frightened her to see him so, and she summoned all her wit to cheer and lighten his mind with humour and diversions. Eventually, with God’s help, he extracted himself from such a depressed state, and with renewed courage was able to face the fresh gale of tragedy that broke upon them in the months that followed. His calm fuelled her courage; her courage enhanced his composure.

Trianon - Elena Maria Vidal

“Louis-Auguste, please understand one thing. I will never agree to leaving you. If I die, it will be at your feet, the children in my arms. My place is at your side; to escape without you would be cowardice and only playing into the hands of our enemies. Whatever storms assail us, we will face them together.”

Trianon - Elena Maria Vidal

4

“Louis-Auguste, please understand one thing. I will never agree to leaving you. If I die, it will be at your feet, the children in my arms. My place is at your side; to escape without you would be cowardice and only playing into the hands of our enemies. Whatever storms assail us, we will face them together.”

Trianon - Elena Maria Vidal

“Oh I do remember,” she said. “But how could they connect it with Trianon?”

He looked at her, his sad, sweet eyes full of a tenderness that was reserved for her alone. “I do not know, my dear. All I can say is that the pamphleteers have been busy.”

She buried her face in his shoulder; she felt the strange trembling coming on, from which she had suffered as a child, but lately began to experience more frequently. Only in her husband’s arms could she regain her self-control. “But what have I done to them that they should hate me so?”

Trianon - Elena Maria Vidal

Upon returning to the street, he was amazed to see how calm the city was. It was like an ordinary Parisian day, with people gossiping in the cafes, shopping, and gong to the theatres. The tall Irishman hailed a cab, and went to a friend’s house directly outside the city. As he left Paris, his thoughts flew to the Temple, where a disconsolate widow was mourning the best of husbands, who had also been the best of kings.

Trianon - Elena Maria Vidal

2

Upon returning to the street, he was amazed to see how calm the city was. It was like an ordinary Parisian day, with people gossiping in the cafes, shopping, and gong to the theatres. The tall Irishman hailed a cab, and went to a friend’s house directly outside the city. As he left Paris, his thoughts flew to the Temple, where a disconsolate widow was mourning the best of husbands, who had also been the best of kings.

Trianon - Elena Maria Vidal

7

“And I suppose it is true enough to say, that in the days of my predecessors, the calamities and misfortunes of the land were blamed on the favourites of the King, on a Pompadour or a Du Barry. The Queen was never held responsible when things went wrong.” He chuckled to himself. “I, on the other hand, have as my favourite none other than a beautiful actress with red hair named Antoinette, whom I refuse to give up.”

Trianon - Elena Maria Vidal