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

Princess Marie Therese’s account of the escape attempt

Throughout the 20th of June, 1791, my mother and father seemed preoccupied and distracted all day long, but I did not know why. After dinner, they sent my brother and I into one room, and they went into another room with my aunt Elisabeth, and closed the door. I have since discovered that that was … Read More

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.

[When the royal family returned to Paris after the failed escape attempt, they were watched carefully all day and especially at night, in their palace! However, courtiers were free to come and go and pay court to them.] Campan writes: The first time I saw her majesty after the unfortunate attempt to escape from Paris, … Read More

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

Deputy Petion’s account of the return from Varennes

The Assembly nominated me, and deputies Maubourg and Barnave, to escort the king and the people who had accompanied him, back to Paris after he had been arrested. We discussed how to deal with the king. Someone said: “That fat swine is embarrassing.” Another person suggested locking him up. Yet others asked whether he should … Read More

Hebert - writer of scandalous revolutionary newspaper. Presented claims of Marie Antoinette's supposed incest with her son, at trial.

Extract from Hebert’s newspaper, ‘Father Duchesne’

[It’s June 1791 and old Father Duchesne is having an imaginary conversation with the king and queen.] “I was aware that you were an absolute idiot, but I didn’t realise you were also the most contemptible and detestable man anyone could ever meet.”     “You are a very foolish man,” replied the drunkard [Louis … Read More

The comte de Provence, brother of Louis XVI, who successfully escaped in June 1791 - possibly because he had a bit of common sense and an actual desire to escape. See extract.

Provence’s account of his successful escape

During November 1790, there were lots of rumours going around that the king intended escaping from Paris. I mentioned the rumours to the queen, who assured me that neither she nor the king had given any reason for such rumours to start. [In fact, the king had begun corresponding with general Bouille about the escape, … Read More

Marie Antoinette, in last year as queen. Beauty gone - unsurprisingly.

Extract from ‘Marie Antoinette: the Courageous End.’

It’s October 1793 and Marie Antoinette doesn’t have long to live. There have already been two failed attempts to rescue the queen from the Conciergerie Prison, despite the revolutionaries being sure that this new prison, bristling with guards, would be escape proof. However, they reckoned without the compassion of the prison wardens and some of … Read More