My rating: 5 of 5 stars
History is a branch of literature made by artificers and artists with stories full of events, people, and places woven into a timeless stereoscopic tapestry of humanity, which in a succession of ages lays bare truths unjustly condemned in the circles of Treachery, Heresy, and Wrath by the winners of the epochal changes. In this regard, Marie Antoinette by Captivating History is a viable account of one of the most arguably scandalous figures in the history of civilization written without prejudice but with facts based upon the extensive collection of historical evidence of letters, small notes, and other written records that is testament to the veracity of the characters and historicity of the events concerning with the lachrymose last queen of France and her family swept in an indomitable whirlwind of epochal changes.
The book delineates the humane sides of the Bourbon couple, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI with an ample provision of personal aspects of the king and the queen in the context of regarding the historic accounts that give the reader new insights to the last dynasty of France and the bellicose retribution of the revolutionaries. Maria Antonia became the famous “Marie Antoinette” at the wedding with Louis XVI, an academic introvert who was into locksmith work and carpentry with a generous soul and deep love for France and the people. The young couple was bounded by spirit of charity and benevolence and exemplified the epitome of nobless oblige: To illustrate, Marie Antoinette told the French not to pay “Queen’s Belt Tax,” a customary tax that the subjects must pay when a new queen ascended the throne because she had heard the woes of the impoverished states of the people. Also, both Marie and Louis founded the Maison Philanthropique and hosted evening meals at Versailles and built cottages for the needy, which the French willfully forgot and forced themselves to remember the ridiculous price of bread when they later invaded the palace and demanded the lives of the Bourbon family.
With respect to the monumental achievements of Louis XVI, the promulgation of Edict of Versailles, also known as the Edict of Tolerance, permitted the French to practice their own religions and marry without converting into Catholicism. In addition, he abolished for the first time servitude akin to serfdom and slavery in France and did cut back the personal budgets to the extent possible by funneling the money into a multitude of charity organizations, all of which was willfully overlooked or ignored by the demagogic revolutionaries and vengefully ambitious bourgeoisie and their populace whom they used as minions to overthrow the monarchy by force.
The book leads the reader to a kind of Eureka moment of light to see the souls of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI in their captivity at the Temple, an ancient royal prison where the family was incarcerated and unjustly tried, during their numbered days before the executions by the mob. We see Marie’s hair turned completely white a day before the execution, which is now known as “Marie Antoinette Syndrome,” as was in the case of Thomas More prior to his execution, and feel her fear at the kangaroo trial where she was arbitrary and intractably accused of (1) stealing French money and sending it to Austria; (ii) planning the deaths of revolutionary soldiers; and (iii) abusing her youngest son, which was patently manipulated by the perfidious revolutionaries to make her a scapegoat for the social ills of the past monarchy because she was a naïve foreigner with soft manners and cultural sophistication, which was an ad hominem embodiment of aristocratic refinement that must be annihilated in a new brave world of the middle class and its peasant class as their henchmen and women.
Nevertheless, this is not a revisionist book on the last queen and the king of France. Rather, it is a book of rare gemstone that is discrete from so many other books on the subject in a pervasively uniformed perspective that does not cast positive light thereon because of the modern complacent intellectual attitudes that discourage an objective scrutiny of historical facts by safely choosing to remain in the political correctness of history. However, truth will come to light at the length; Truth is truth to the end of discreditable reckoning of demotic, partisan views and defamatory opinions on infamously misconceived historical figures that deserve of equitable judgment of the characters and deeds thereof. All this makes this book enjoyable and enlightening read, which is much to recommend it if you are willing to find out facts that lead you to beacons of truths.