Another Letter for The ABC in Historical Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Historical Tapestry- this fortnight: it’s the Letter E.
This book, for me, stands out as the most beautiful, most historically accurate and definitely the most moving of all Marie Antoinette novels I have ever read.
Finally a book that depicts the grande queen as merciful, kind, loving and yes- yes, faithful to her king. Surprised? Well, it has been my experience that it is mostly here in North America that Marie Antoinette is too often maligned (Hollywood doesn't help matters). I don't know if the history was taught that differently- but here in Quebec, a French province of Canada, I learned the positive sides of this grande queen. The same is true for many parts of Europe as well.
In Quebec, which was devoutly Christian for the longest time (more secular as of recently), we have been a bit more biased towards French history. And, who knows, maybe our books were reflective of that. Nevertheless, Marie Antoinette, for us here, is better known as La Reine Martyre (The Martyred Queen). As a matter of fact, when speaking of her, she is automatically referred to as such, rather than by her name.
I'd also like to clarify that in our books, the Fersen name comes up as someone loyal to death for his queen and king...not as the queen's lover. I understand this is debatable for the rest of North America, but if you come here- you'll be in the minority if you think otherwise. I've gotten used to reading books though that portray Marie Antoinette in a negative way (I actually expect it now)- and I'm not so surprised anymore. I'm just incredulous that people will actually think that this is the true context of history- a very misconstrued one.
Political debates regarding the French and English can get very heated in Quebec- often posing this province against the others just for the sake of history... let's just say that 'events of the past, are a thing we don't take lightly. History is very important around here. Same goes for Marie Antoinette- for us- dare not soil her name. Marie Antoinette is known for charity, love, faith and loyalty; a strong Catholic - forever a martyr.
TRIANON, by Elena Maria Vidal, is the perfect read if you want the most reflective story on the Real Marie Antoinette.