A novel for fans of Philippa Gregory and Michelle Moran, Confessions of Marie Antoinette blends rich historical detail with searing drama, bringing to life the first years of the French Revolution and the final days of the legendary French queen.
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 secretly attempts to arrange her family’s rescue from the clutches of the rebels, she finds that they can neither outrun the dangers encircling them nor escape their shocking fate.
Advance praise for Confessions of Marie Antoinette
“Juliet Grey brings her trilogy on Marie Antoinette’s life to a triumphant finale, depicting with sensitivity and compelling vividness the collapse of a bygone glamorous world and the courageous transformation of its ill-fated queen.”—C. W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow
“A heartfelt journey with Marie Antoinette in her wrenching last days . . . We see the end looming that is still veiled from her eyes, and knowing her hopes are in vain makes it all the more poignant. Far from the ‘let them eat cake’ woman of legend, Juliet Grey’s Marie Antoinette reveals herself to be a person we can admire for her courage, her loyalty, and her love of her family and her adopted country, France.”—Margaret George
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The third installment of Grey's Marie Antoinette trilogy, following Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow, captures the final years of Louis XVI's reign through the eyes of the legendary Austrian woman who became the French queen and never actually said, "Let them eat cake." The author's extensive research shows in her detailed reconstruction of the political machinations that, over time, diminished the King's powers and turned the once-proud and ostentatious royal family into prisoners, stripped of dignity and privacy. Near the end, even their bread is crumbled before being served, to prevent anyone from smuggling messages inside, but Marie still manages to put on a brave face. As counterpoint, Grey depicts Parisian sculptress Louison Chabry, a real-life figure who encountered the French royals in October 1789 after participating in the renowned Women's March on Versailles. Amid the increasingly zealous and bloodthirsty revolutionaries, Chabry offers a more reasoned response, balancing her passion for change with compassion for the rulers who she believes are not the despicable tyrants portrayed in the rhetoric of the day. Historians will continue to debate whether Marie Antoinette was friend or foe to the French people, but Grey succeeds in bringing humanity and grace to the controversial queen.