It was the summer of 2006 that I took my first trip to Versailles. The gilded rooms and endless hallways, abundance of gold, paintings, fountains, furniture, flourishing gardens - it was incredible. And that was just the first hour. After that, I was overwhelmed. Wandering its extensive grounds peaked my curiosity. I wanted to learn about Versailles and the life that had once existed here; especially it's last queen, and her equally ill-fated husband. The rest so to speak, was history.
Three Marie Antoinette biographies ( along with one on Louis XVI, and a return to Versailles) later, my interest has blossomed into a near obsession. I have bloodlines memorized, favorite historians, and I now get giddy when I watch PBS documentaries: "Hey, I read her book!".
While the court of the palace may have expected Marie Antoinette to give birth to a little dauphin, it was King Louis who had expected a little girl. She was his pride and joy, and every inch a daddy's girl. Upon her birth, Antoinette whispered "A son would have been the property of the State. You shall be mine." Marie A. had waited over seven years for a child, and she welcomed this little girl with all her heart. Both parents did.
On the back cover in review of the book, a person is quoted saying "Above all, Marie-Thérèse's story is one of triumph." However after reading this book, the intro, and the afterward, I am not so sure. I am left with a mixture of both sadness, and awe. This woman was indeed human: she made her mistakes, she had her doubts...But never have I read of a woman who had such strength and courage. Except of when I read about her mother.