This compelling book begins on the 2nd of August 1793, the day Marie Antoinette was torn from her family’s arms and escorted from the Temple to the Conciergerie, a thick-walled fortress turned prison. It was also known as the “waiting room for the guillotine” because prisoners only spent a day or two here before their conviction and subsequent execution. The ex-queen surely knew her days were numbered, but she could never have known that two and a half months would pass before she would finally stand trial and be convicted of the most ungodly charges.
Will Bashor traces the final days of the prisoner registered only as Widow Capet, No. 280, a time that was a cruel mixture of grandeur, humiliation, and terror. Marie Antoinette’s reign amidst the splendors of the court of Versailles is a familiar story, but her final imprisonment in a fetid, dank dungeon is a little-known coda to a once-charmed life. Her seventy-six days in this terrifying prison can only be described as the darkest and most horrific of the fallen queen’s life, vividly recaptured in this richly researched history.
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“Excellent account of Marie Antoinettes last days.”
Five Star Review on Amazon by THOMAS B
Well written and researched. A unique book on the final days of a tragic and somewhat misunderstood queen. Heart wrenching description of her being cruelly taken from her children. Final description of her trial and trip to the guillotine in an open cart through the streets of Paris were vivid. I would recommend this book highly to anyone that’s interested in this tumultuous time in French history.
About the Author
Will Bashor has a B.A. degree in French and an M.A. degree in French literature from Ohio University and a Ph.D. in International Studies from the American Graduate School in Paris where he gathered letters, newspapers, journals, and plays during his research for Marie Antoinette’s Head. Professor at Franklin University and a member of the Society for French Historical Studies, he attended the annual meeting at Harvard University in 2013 where he presented the political importance of Leonard Autie’s role in the royal family’s unsuccessful flight to Varennes. Visit him at www.willbashor.com.
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