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Posts tagged farewell my queen

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In a deathly silence, with her own hands she removed her friend’s pale green dress, began to slip a petticoat over Gabrielle’s head, and even tried to pull stockings onto the other woman’s legs. She was the one on her knees now, at Gabrielle’s feet. Her face was firm and resolute. She was driven by a kind of energy and precision born of despair. Gabrielle, all white-faced and unresisting, with the fragile nakedness of a little girl, wept soundlessly.
Farewell, My Queen by Chantal Thomas

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Part of me wishes that Farewell, My Queen had kept the original book scene that inspired this brief exchange intact. In the book, Sidonie witnesses two guards sitting on the ground, drinking, talking about the fall of Bastille and being increasingly aggressive in their conversation—the guard first talks in a mild boasting manner about how he refused to announce the duc, and the drunken conversation builds and builds until they’re spilling out punishments for aristocrats and loyal servants and especially the ‘Messalina’ queen, with dialogue directly inspired by thel pamphlets of the day. For Sidonie it’s an oppressive and terrifying thing to witness, especially since she’s walking alone in the nearly empty area.

The book scene goes on a long time, though, so I can understand why they chose to cut it to a brief moment, a glimpse of the crumbling social structure at Versailles, rather than a longer, eerie ordeal witnessed in a deserted area of the palace.

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