"She was not a guilty woman, neither was she a saint; she was an upright, charming woman, a little frivolous, somewhat impulsive, but always pure; she was a queen, at times ardent in her fancies for her favourites and thoughtless in her policy, but proud and full of energy; a thorough woman in her winsome ways and tenderness of heart, until she became a martyr."
"We have followed the history of Marie Antoinette with the greatest diligence and scrupulosity. We have lived in those times. We have talked with some of her friends and some of her enemies; we have read, certainly not all, but hundreds of the libels written against her; and we have, in short, examined her life with– if we may be allowed to say so of ourselves– something of the accuracy of contemporaries, the diligence of inquirers, and the impartiality of historians, all combined; and we feel it our duty to declare, in as a solemn a manner as literature admits of, our well-matured opinion that every reproach against the morals of the queen was a gross calumny– that she was, as we have said, one of the purest of human beings."
"It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely there never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like a morning star full of life and splendor and joy. Oh, what a revolution....Little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honor and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look which threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded...."
~Edmund Burke, October 1790
A Note on Reviews
Unless otherwise noted, any books I review on this blog I have either purchased or borrowed from the library, and I do not receive any compensation (monetary or in-kind) for the reviews.
History.com has mistaken Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily for her aunt, Marie-Antoinette. It is bad enough that the article is riven with inaccuracies, but with all the pictures of Marie-Antoinette available on the internet why would someone choose a picture of another person? Maria Theresa was the eldest daughter of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Marie Carolina of Austria. Maria Carolina was the favorite sister of Marie-Antoinette. They both named their eldest daughters after their mother, Empress Maria Theresa. Maria Theresa of Naples married her first cousin Emperor Francis, the son of Marie-Antoinette's brother Emperor Leopold. Emperor Francis and his Empress, Maria Theresa of Naples (above) were the last to bear the titles of Holy Roman Emperor and Empress. Their daughter Marie Louise married Napoleon Bonaparte. Marie Theresa never lived to see her daughter handed over to Bonaparte, though, for she died in 1807 at age 34.
Emperor Francis II and Empress Maria Theresa with their family
As for the inaccuracies in the History.comarticle, perhaps the most annoying is the one about Louis XVI being impotent. Louis XVI was not impotent and he did not have a physical defect which required an operation, as explained HERE.
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