The Road from Versailles: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the Fall of the French Monarchy by Munro PriceWhat becomes of leaders when absolute power is wrested from their hands? How does dramatic political change affect once-absolute monarchs? In acclaimed historian Munro Price’s powerful new book, he confronts one of the enduring mysteries of the French Revolution---what were the true actions and feelings of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette as they watched their sovereignty collapse?
Dragged back from Versailles to Paris by the crowd in October 1789, the king and queen became prisoners in the capital. They were compelled for their own safety to approve the Revolution and its agenda. Yet, in deep secrecy, they soon began to develop a very different, and dangerous, strategy. The precautions they took against discovery, and the bloody overthrow of the monarchy three years later, dispersed or obliterated most of the clues to their real policy. Much of this evidence has until now remained unknown.
The Road from Versailles reconstructs in detail, for the first time, the king and queen’s clandestine diplomacy from 1789 until their executions. To do so, it focuses on a vital but previously ignored figure, the royal couple’s confidant, the baron de Breteuil. Exiled from France by the Revolution, Breteuil became their secret prime minister, and confidential emissary to the courts of Europe.
Along with the queen’s probable lover, the comte de Fersen, it was Breteuil who organized the royal family’s dramatic dash for freedom, the flight to Varennes. Breteuil’s role is crucial to an understanding of what Louis and Marie Antoinette secretly felt and thought during the Revolution. To unlock these secrets, The Road from Versailles draws on highly important unpublished and previously unknown material.
Meticulously researched and utterly fascinating, The Road from Versailles provides fresh insight into some of the most controversial events in modern history.
How the French Revolution Worked
The former charts the intertwined development of the 17th-century French monarch Louis XIV and his best-known palace, while the latter revolves around the adventures of an adolescent Mary Queen of Scots played by Australian Adelaide Kane at the midth century French court. Both have attracted considerable commentary for their pop culture feel and prominent sexual content. The pilot of Reign, for example, includes a much discussed female masturbation scene that follows the young queen, accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting no longer the famous four Maries, but now Greer, Lola, Aylee, and Kenna , furtively witnessing the consummation of a courtly marriage. If you were in Versailles at that time you were at the centre of the world. These televised counterparts of well-documented historical figures at times seem to bear little resemblance beyond sharing the same name. Others, though, have corroborated the sexual narratives presented in Versailles, a series that the BBC2 has chosen to frame with the concurrent Inside Versailles , bite-sized discussions after each episode, presented by academic and professional historians.
The young couple soon came to symbolize all of the excesses of the reviled French monarchy, and Marie Antoinette herself became the target of a great deal of vicious gossip. After the outbreak of the French Revolution in , the royal family was forced to live under the supervision of revolutionary authorities. In , the king was executed; then, Marie Antoinette was arrested and tried for trumped-up crimes against the French republic. She was convicted and sent to the guillotine on October 16, Four years later, Marie Antoinette and the dauphin were married by proxy in Vienna.
Crowned king in , he next came in , and his liking for the location only grew stronger. Construction continued until and laid the basis of the Palace we know today. The king also bought part of the fiefdom of Versailles in
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Sex, lies and rock'n'roll
In the latter years of his year rule, however, the succession of wars launched by the king ultimately took their toll on France and resulted in battlefield defeats, crippling debt, and famine. Citizens grew so disgruntled that they even jeered the diseased Louis XIV during his funeral procession. - Louis was guillotined, followed by Marie-Antoinette nine months later.