In Part One we talked about Marie Antoinette’s childhood, the speedy preparations for marriage and her early years in France. In this episode, the conclusion of our revisit, we get to the rest of her story as she travels from well-liked to queen to the (dramatic pause) guillotine.
Husband, Louis XVI, while fumbly in the Create an Heir department and lacking a lot of things in common with her, was kind to Marie. During her, let’s call them “party years” he indulged her and gave her a little playhouse all her own so that she could escape the demands, traditions and all the backstabby, gossipy people of Versailles: Le Petite Trianon. It was a place Marie could let her hair down, grant admission to only those who she invited and frolic and dress like a fair country maiden (Disney World style– no need to actually take care of the animals, that’s what the servants are for).
Louis XVI. He gave her this…
Le Petite Trianon, Marie’s playhouse…
…where she hung out with her friends including him. Axel Von Fersen (Dreamy, right?)
**Giveaway details at bottom of post!**
Once upon a time there were two podcasters who began their women’s history show with an episode about Marie Antoinette. Four and a half years later they revisited her life simply because they felt there was more to say about this woman who has been long misquoted and misunderstood. They were able to add a great deal of content and context and have a much longer conversation -two parts!- about the life of the last Queen of France.
(The first episode was never heard again and we all lived happily ever after.)
Marie in her softened years, by Louise Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun
We launch our podcast with a woman who has been long misunderstood. She is most remembered for two things, and one is completely inaccurate. That’s right, total tabloid fodder that morphed into historical “fact”.
Maria Antoine Josepha Joanna, born into Austrian royalty was a girl with a fine pedigree, stunning looks, graceful carriage and a pleasant demeanor. The path of her life was created by her mother (whose wasn’t, right?) who took great pride and long thought into marrying off her children not necessarily for love, but for political reasons. Her youngest daughter would be plunged into an extraordinary life in a foreign land first as the Dauphine of France, then as Queen, mother, style icon,and eventually, political prisoner and symbol .
But this isn’t a Disney Princess story. It was one of patience, sacrifice, duty and planning, and –quite frankly- it wasn’t all big fashion, cake and champagne. That was the image, not the reality. In some regards, the history of Marie Antoinette was not only a result of her upbringing and the political climate, but she was also a victim of the social media of her time ( and yeah, ultimately, the guillotine. Ouch.) <em> <strong>(Click here for more fabulous shownotes!)</strong> </em>!