By Sena Jeter Naslund
Marie Antoinette used to be a toddler of fourteen while her mom, the Empress of Austria, prepared for her to depart her relatives and her nation to turn into the spouse of the fifteen-year-old Dauphin, the longer term King of France. Coming of age within the so much public of arenas—eager to be an exceptional spouse and robust queen—she warmly embraces her followed state and its voters. She indicates her new husband not anything yet love and encouragement, although he time and again 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 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 unaware of the country's starting to be monetary and political crises, while terrible harvests, sour winters, struggle bills, and poverty precipitate uprising and revenge. The younger queen, as soon as loved by means of the typical people, turns into a objective 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 referred to as "the Terror." With penetrating perception and with wondrous narrative ability, Sena Jeter Naslund bargains an intimate, clean, heartbreaking, and dramatic reimagining of this actually compelling girl that is going some distance past renowned myth—and she makes a bygone time of tumultuous swap as actual to us because the one we live in now.
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Additional info for Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette (P.S.)
I gasp: their fountains are gushing red! But the liquid is only wine. In the square, whole oxen are roasting, and they perfume the air with their hearty aroma of crisping fat. From huge baskets members of the town council are handing small loaves of bread to the poor. In the trees hang glass balls, colorful as overblown fruit. All around me are the matrons and tradesmen and ancients of the city, with dark blue dresses and yellow shirts, and some still in their brown leather aprons, and white blouses edged in red thread.
She spoke to all of us, not necessarily to me, mostly forgotten, being the daughter in tenth place in the chain of diplomatic marriages, hence, tenth in my mother’s hopes—and love. Have your fun, she would say, exhaling a long slow breath that reminded me of the north wind, for life is not all play. I look at the prince whose eyes are like my mother’s—direct, knowing, discreet. Then, can I trust him? I must, for I am clothed and named now in the French manner, and it is time to cross over, my hand in the crook of his arm.
With success and no mistakes, I have met the three aunts and treated them as my most dear mother has instructed. If I have not yet become an angel to the French, I have seen someone here who embodies the idea of goodness because of her beauty: the Princesse de Lamballe. I wish to know her better. With wide-open eyes, I turn my head and press my cheek into the pillow to look to my right. The white wall reminds me of the pale side of the moon, as though she has come down and stands close to me, over there.