Series: Marie Antoinette #3
Publication Date: 24th September 2013
Book Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours & NetGalley
Synopsis: Confessions of Marie Antoinette, the riveting and sweeping final novel in Juliet Grey’s trilogy on the life of the legendary French queen, blends rich historical detail with searing drama, bringing to life the early years of the French Revolution and the doomed royal family’s final days.
Versailles, 1789. As the burgeoning rebellion reaches the palace gates, Marie Antoinette finds her privileged and peaceful life swiftly upended by violence. Once her loyal subjects, the people of France now seek to overthrow the crown, placing the heirs of the Bourbon dynasty in mortal peril.
Displaced to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, the royal family is propelled into the heart of the Revolution. There, despite a few staunch allies, they are surrounded by cunning spies and vicious enemies. Yet despite the political and personal threats against her, Marie Antoinette remains above all a devoted wife and mother, standing steadfastly by her husband, Louis XVI, and protecting their young son and daughter. And though the queen and her family try to flee, and she secretly attempts to arrange their rescue from the clutches of the Revolution, they cannot outrun the dangers encircling them, or escape their shocking fate.
I've had a fascination with Marie Antoinette for years and have loved Juliet Grey's trilogy covering her life with exemplary attention to detail and meticulous research. What made Confessions of Marie Antoinette my favourite of the trilogy was the sense of intimacy and urgency.
Knowing the history and Marie Antoinette's unfortunate fate didn't lessen the impact, I was astounded by the vividly detailed account of the later years of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Striking detail and intensity combined with sensitivity ensuring a page turning read and my emotional investment throughout.
History is written by victors so I've always found it refreshing to read authors' accounts of maligned historical figures, bringing objectivity to the exaggeration and lies, humanising those who've been almost demonised and whilst this is historical fiction Juliet Grey doesn't stray far from the facts.
From the storming of Versailles in 1789, the vehement hatred and violence of the people towards their King and Queen, activities of the revolutionaries, the horror of the Reign of Terror, the appalling treatment of the Royal Family and those deemed Royalist, through to the Monarchs' laughable trials and executions in 1793. Not forgotten however, is the courage and loyalty of many, Marie Antoinette's compassion and dignity and the unconditional love for her children ... to the end.
Recommend: absolutely - a riveting and emotionally wrenching read!
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