Meet Marie Antoinette
as you’ve never known her.

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Forget the beautiful, smiling, pleasure seeking Queen forever dancing at some glittering, magnificent ball.

Meet the other Marie Antoinette in this novel – the harrowing account of Marie Antoinette’s imprisonment – based on the memoirs of those who witnessed Marie Antoinette’s ordeal. Discover the agonies which tested the Queen to the limit, and revealed the courage at the heart of this once thoughtless woman.

Meet the die-hard revolutionaries dazzled by this once beautiful Queen and share their daring plans to rescue her.

A romanticised version of the arrest in June 1791, after the failed attempt to escape, 1 year before the attack on the palace. It does not reveal just how terrifying the journey was. See Pétion's account in 'Extracts'.

A surprisingly life-affirming novel, detailing man’s capacity for kindness – even during this mercilessly cruel period.

Young Queen, Marie Antoinette, whose kindness as a Princess made the people believe she would be kind Queen.

Includes as extras: twenty pages of snippets from Marie Antoinette’s letters to her beloved Fersen, the love of her life.

And extracts from the memoir by Marie-Thérèse – Marie Antoinette’s traumatised daughter – the only survivor of the family’s imprisonment.

And of course, Marie Antoinette’s beloved son. What happened to the child? Unspeakable torment and abuse, resulting in a solitary death.

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In June 1791, two years after the French Revolution began, Marie Antoinette and her husband Louis XVI fled from Paris under cover of darkness, intending to escape from the clutches of the revolutionaries. But they were arrested at Varennes, several miles from the frontier, and led back to Paris by a gloating, murderous mob.

One year later, in August 1792, the French people, tired of Louis XVI’s never ending lies, marched on his palace and imprisoned the royal family – as foreign armies marched on France, at Louis’ secret request.

The following accounts of the escape attempt give an insight into the volatile atmosphere in the country during this period. They also give an insight into the torment Marie Antoinette endured every day during the Revolution, as she remained faithfully at the side of her hopeless, sweet, liar of a husband. These extracts set the scene for the deposition of the King, one year later, and form the backdrop to the novel. (Copyright applies to all content.)

Marie Antoinette's young daughter Marie-Thérèse - a happy moment captured for posterity, before her cruel imprisonment.

Princess Marie-Thérèse’s account of the escape attempt

The first extract is the innocent, child-like account of their ordeal by 12 year old Marie-Thérèse, Marie Antoinette’s young daughter. This account is very sweet and typical of a 12 year old child, bewildered by the world, but secure in the love of her parents. [All extracts are subject to copyright.]

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Young Queen, Marie Antoinette, whose kindness as a Princess made the people believe she would be kind Queen.

Marie Antoinette’s account of the escape attempt – as recounted by Madame Campan, her chief maid.

Marie Antoinette does not detail the threats she endured on her return journey from Varennes. We have to read the account by the republican deputy Pétion (which follows) to really understand her ordeal. She probably wanted to block these painful memories from her mind. Why were the mob so cruel to Marie Antoinette, while they readily forgave her husband, the King, for trying to escape from them?

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Pétion - the republican deputy, who escorted the royal family back from Varennes. See extract. Tried to save lives in September Massacres.

Deputy Pétion’s account of the return from Varennes

Parisians found Pétion’s account hilarious when it was first published two hundred years ago. They were amused because the pompous deputy thought himself so drop-dead gorgeous that he believed that the King’s maidenly young sister had fallen for him hook, line and sinker, and was prepared to surrender herself to him! Really?

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About the Film

It’s August 1792, and as foreign armies march on France, at the secret request of Louis XVI, to destroy the new rights of the downtrodden people, Parisians rise against their King and his wife Marie Antoinette, and depose them. They don’t have a lot of time left in which to organise the defence of their country.

Fast forward to October 1793, and after a year of bloody war, Marie Antoinette is put on trial for treason, found guilty and sentenced to death. With only hours to live, the Queen requests pen and paper and begins to write her Will. How does she feel? Does she have regrets?

The whole of Paris is already bristling with thousands upon thousands of National Guards. Will Marie Antoinette’s supporters succeed in snatching her from the jaws of the guillotine?

The infamous market women stampede to the coveted best spots at the foot of the guillotine, as soon as the verdict is announced. They settle down with their knitting to wait for the best show in town.

As Marie Antoinette writes her Will, the film reveals her life in flashbacks. Why did the French Revolution start? Why did the people decide to guillotine this once popular Queen? What had gone so disastrously wrong?

Blogs – meet Marie Antoinette’s heroes and villains

Princesse de Lamballe, Marie Antoinette's best friend. Slaughtered and head brought to Queen's prison for Queen to kiss.

The Princess of Lamballe

The Princess of Lamballe was Marie Antoinette’s foremost heroine. She returned to France from the safety of London so that Marie Antoinette could have a friend with her in the months before the King was deposed – and the brave woman was slaughtered just weeks after this deposition. Lamballe was by Marie Antoinette’s side on … Read More

Count Axel von Fersen, Marie Antoinette's love, who agonised over tragic, lonely death of his beloved Queen. (See letters)

Axel von Fersen

“Stay in Paris, then it’ll be easy to reach you. The King of Prussia, with his army, has resolved to make straight for Paris. Stay in Paris.” This was the disastrous advice from Axel von Fersen, Marie Antoinette’s beloved, in the weeks before her palace was stormed and her husband deposed. Marie Antoinette listened to … Read More

Princess Marie-Thérèse, Marie Antoinette's daughter, finally freed from prison on 17th birthday.

Marie-Thérèse, Marie Antoinette’s daughter

Meet Marie Antoinette’s long-forgotten heroes from her imprisonment: Marie-Thérèse, Marie Antoinette’s 14 year old daughter –  “I begged Chaumette [the public prosecutor, on his frequent visits to her room in the Temple Tower], to let me rejoin my mother. “That is not my decision,” he answered.  For two and a half years the 14 year … Read More