"She was not a guilty woman, neither was she a saint; she was an upright, charming woman, a little frivolous, somewhat impulsive, but always pure; she was a queen, at times ardent in her fancies for her favourites and thoughtless in her policy, but proud and full of energy; a thorough woman in her winsome ways and tenderness of heart, until she became a martyr."
"We have followed the history of Marie Antoinette with the greatest diligence and scrupulosity. We have lived in those times. We have talked with some of her friends and some of her enemies; we have read, certainly not all, but hundreds of the libels written against her; and we have, in short, examined her life with– if we may be allowed to say so of ourselves– something of the accuracy of contemporaries, the diligence of inquirers, and the impartiality of historians, all combined; and we feel it our duty to declare, in as a solemn a manner as literature admits of, our well-matured opinion that every reproach against the morals of the queen was a gross calumny– that she was, as we have said, one of the purest of human beings."
"It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely there never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like a morning star full of life and splendor and joy. Oh, what a revolution....Little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honor and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look which threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded...."
~Edmund Burke, October 1790
A Note on Reviews
Unless otherwise noted, any books I review on this blog I have either purchased or borrowed from the library, and I do not receive any compensation (monetary or in-kind) for the reviews.
Here is an article from Roman Miscellany about Mother Magdalen Taylor, the author of Tyborne, a novel about the English Catholic martyrs, and foundress of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God. I once stayed with those sisters in their house in Paris, while I was looking into a position of governess with a wealthy French family. The family lived on an elegant street near the Bois de Boulogne which the taxi driver could not find on the map. The apartment house had once been someone's palace, I think. At any rate, there were no numbers on the doors of any of the suites and it took me awhile to find the right one. They were a lovely family and the children had a nanny; they really just needed someone to speak English to their children all day. They had a house in Brittany as well. I decided not to take the job, however; there were reasons why I had to return home to America. However, it was an adventure.
There is also mention of the wonderful Mary Ward in the article.
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