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:   Throughout the 20th of June, 1791, my mother and … 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.

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 … Read More

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?   Pétion: The … Read More

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

Extract from Hébert’s newspaper, ‘Father Duchesne’

Hébert was the infamous editor and writer of this revolutionary newspaper, which overflowed with hatred. His influence was huge, even in June 1791 when this was written, just days after the unsuccessful escape attempt by the royal family – and a year before the deposition of Louis XVI. For Hébert, Marie Antoinette was always a … 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

The Comte de Provence was the brother of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette’s husband. His account reveals how a man with a bit of common sense and an actual desire to escape, could succeed in doing so – unlike Marie Antoinette’s husband, who was sadly lacking in both aspects! Throughout this memoir Provence cannot refrain from … 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