"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.
For the many parents who are always looking for good books for their children to read, I would not hesitate to recommend a new series in junior fiction written by my cousin, Jennifer Lanthier. Published by Harper-Collins, the "Hazel Frump" mysteries are delightful, witty and entertaining. Of course, I would not expect anything less from a relative who from childhood has been as brilliant, lively and fun as she is beautiful. I spent one summer in the mid-seventies with Jennifer, her sister Kate and their family at their house in Kingston, Ontario. I will never forget the good times we had. Jennifer and I absconded with a toy castle with figurines belonging to her little brother. Combining our vivid imaginations we wove a medieval saga about a highly dysfunctional royal family, replete with characters who made the Plantagenets seem like "The Brady Bunch." When I saw Jennifer at a family gathering a few years ago, we laughed about our castle and so many other memories. Recently, I ran into Jennifer on Facebook; I did not even know she was writing novels, but am not at all surprised. I am so proud of her. May she be blessed with success!
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