Marie-Thérèse, Child of Terror: The Fate of Marie Antoinette's Daughter
Bloomsbury, 2008 (2008)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
turned the first page of Susan Nagel's
Marie-Thérèse, Child of Terror
, fearing a lengthy tome filled with historical dates and facts. I love history but bare facts lose me along the way. Though the book is indeed filled with facts – dates and endless names – I was enthralled. I was there when the child was born and I lived with her her whole life.
he daughter of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI, Marie-Thérèse (1778–1851) escaped with her life during the French Revolution, although she was imprisoned in a dark, dank and filthy tower for three years. While there, she lost her mother and father to the Guillotine and her little brother to neglect. Marie-Thérèse never forgot that she was royalty and conducted herself accordingly. No matter the tragedy that befell her, she remained serene and confident.
er mother had instilled in her the responsibilities she owed to her family, her subjects, and her country. Her mother taught her well. Marie-Thérèse only allowed emotion to show when she was alone or with her most favored confidantes and she always conducted herself as befitted her station in life. She was kind, caring and generous, but had little time for anyone who slighted her or her family. She had the strength that her position called for, and was often referred to as
the only man in the family
arie-Thérèse, Child of Terror
answered many questions I have had about French history, and about royalty. Living in a democracy, I find it hard to understand the adulation a country and its people can have for someone they are essentially supporting. Nevertheless, this is a marvelous book, one that must have taken years of research, and well worth the read.
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