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23 notes

Bewildered by her fate, unable to make the right choices, Marie faces her lethal comeuppance. In soiled chemise and her now-white hair hacked off, she has a final realization. “It’s like some awful dream and it’s never been mine.” She stands on the red carpet, rolled out toward the dark shape of the guillotine. But she gets the final ironic laugh. She will be remembered. The whoosh of the guillotine reverberates. The dark silhouette opens to reveal a dressmaker’s mirror. Her image reflects in triplicate. Whatever else, she’ll always be famous, forever looked at. With fascination, awe and a bit of sadness, we will always stare at Marie Antoinette.
D.L. Groover, in their review for David Adjmi’s Marie Antoinette at the Stages Repertory Theatre

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65 notes


The portraits you have seen of our daughter [Marie Thérèse] cannot give you an accurate idea of her; they are not in the least like her. She so closely resembles both her father and her mother that she recalls them absolutely, together or separately, according to the point of view from which one looks at her.
Her natural gaiety is not quenched; draw her mind away from this tragic chapter of her life, and she laughs heartily and is quite charming. She is gentle, good-humoured, and affectionate … she is modest without being shy, at her ease without being familiar, and as innocent as on the day she was born. … In fact, to put it briefly, I recognize in her the angel we have lost.

—Louis XVIII to the comte d’Artois, on their niece Marie Thérèse Charlotte.
[translation: Madame Royale, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette: her Youth and Marriage by Ernest Daudet.]
[image credit: (C) RMN-Grand Palais (domaine de Chantilly) / René-Gabriel Ojéda]

The portraits you have seen of our daughter [Marie Thérèse] cannot give you an accurate idea of her; they are not in the least like her. She so closely resembles both her father and her mother that she recalls them absolutely, together or separately, according to the point of view from which one looks at her.

Her natural gaiety is not quenched; draw her mind away from this tragic chapter of her life, and she laughs heartily and is quite charming. She is gentle, good-humoured, and affectionate … she is modest without being shy, at her ease without being familiar, and as innocent as on the day she was born. … In fact, to put it briefly, I recognize in her the angel we have lost.

—Louis XVIII to the comte d’Artois, on their niece Marie Thérèse Charlotte.

[translation: Madame Royale, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette: her Youth and Marriage by Ernest Daudet.]

[image credit: (C) RMN-Grand Palais (domaine de Chantilly) / René-Gabriel Ojéda]

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119 notes

If she grew hard, it was because her later sorrows revived and embittered her memories of the past, and these in turn made the present more galling and exasperating. When a sapling is struck by lightning, but not destroyed, it very rarely grows into a tree without bearing upon its bark some sign of ravage; and, in the wind that blows through its leaves, it surely sometimes feels the burning breath that scarred it in its youth.
Madame Royale, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette: her Youth and Marriage by Ernest Daudet

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34 notes


Of the seventy-three years of her life, she passed eight (the best of her youth) in restraint or in a dungeon, and thirty-eight in exile; and yet she died acknowledging the mercies and the glory of God. Let us who have not known affliction, or who have been but lightly visited, derive wisdom from the instruction offered to us by the pious daughter of Louis Seize and Marie Antoinette.

—The Gentlemen’s Magazine, Volume 36, 1851
[image credit: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie]

Of the seventy-three years of her life, she passed eight (the best of her youth) in restraint or in a dungeon, and thirty-eight in exile; and yet she died acknowledging the mercies and the glory of God. Let us who have not known affliction, or who have been but lightly visited, derive wisdom from the instruction offered to us by the pious daughter of Louis Seize and Marie Antoinette.

The Gentlemen’s Magazine, Volume 36, 1851

[image credit: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie]

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239 notes

On October 19th, 1851, Marie Thérèse of France—the only child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to survive the revolution—died at the age of 72, possibly from pneumonia.

She died only three days after the anniversary of her mother’s execution; in her last hours she was surrounded by her family, religious counsel, and the relics of her parents and aunt Elisabeth; all were executed during her youth.

In her last will and testament she wrote: "I pray God to shower down his blessings upon France—France, that I have never ceased to love even under my bitterest afflictions."

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