Sympathetic Look at a Controversial Figure

Confessions of Marie Antoinette  - Juliet Grey

"Confessions of Marie Antoinette" is the third novel in a series. It begins with the French royal family being forcibly removed from the Palace of Versailles, and covers the remaining three years of Marie Antoinette's life.

 

The book is well-researched (in an unusual move for a novelist, author Juliet Grey includes a bibliography), and creates a sympathetic picture of the royals that is probably well-deserved. It is also a well-written book that brings us into the world of the Revolution as seen through the eyes of first-person narrator Marie Antoinette and young female sculptor Louison Chabray (a historical person as well), who is used as a secondary narrator.

 

Unfortunately for me, not having read the previous two books, I think that I've missed out a good deal of Louison's character development. She, like the rest of the sans-culottes in the tale, seemed two-dimensional and flat. I get the author's intent of creating sympathy for the royals, but the idea that anyone is pure evil feels unrealistic to me. The Jacobins, Girondins, etc., truly believed that they had the country's best interests at heart ... just like the royal family.