Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Other Novels

I am delighted that since the publication of Trianon and Madame Royale about a decade ago, people are still reading and enjoying them. Here is a review of both books from Cross of Laeken. Matterhorn contradicts the criticism the novels have sometimes received, that the characters are too pious and idealized, saying:
I have read several reviews claiming the books are too religious and/or over-idealize the protagonists. I only want to say that the devout faith of Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and Madame Royale is well-documented, and it would not be realistic to ignore or downplay the role of Catholicism in their lives. Nor do I think the royal family are over-idealized. Their spiritual journeys are presented as hard and painful and they struggle with human failings along the way. Against his conscience, for instance, the King signs the Civil Constitution of the Clergy under duress, an action he later bitterly repents. Before maturing gracefully into a noble wife and mother, Marie-Antoinette is portrayed as a kind, charming, but imperfect young girl, apt to be headstrong and rash. Marie-Thérèse's rigidity and refusal to compromise the divine right of kings, coupled with her cold manner (although these are understandable results of her early traumas), contribute to alienating many from the cause of the Catholic monarchy. Nonetheless, the fact remains that she, like her parents, ultimately attains a high degree of spiritual heroism.
Religion may not be a part of some contemporary lives but it certainly played a part in the lives of many historical characters. To ignore or downplay the faith of characters in a historical novel is to destroy the integrity of the characters as well as thwart an authentic representation of the past. Share

7 comments:

Matterhorn said...

Thank you for the link:)

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks for the great review!

Matterhorn said...

It was quite a challenge to write actually. I had been wanting to do it for weeks but whenever I tried my thoughts kept getting tangled up. One of the hardest posts to write so far...

elena maria vidal said...

That's very interesting......

Julygirl said...

I agree totally!! Right on Matterhorn. It would be like saying the President of the United States did not believe in the Constitution which he has sworn to defend and protect. The same is true of sovereigns in monarchys of the past who are 'defenders of the Faith' and that cannot be 'down-played'.

lara77 said...

Elena, as you had written earlier, the 18th century was not the 21st!When King Louis XVI swore before God at his coronation in Reims he took an oath; one he never broke. It was his faith that guided him and helped him through the dark days of the revolution.I cannot believe anyone would say the religious aspect was overplayed!People today do not read and when they do; they read the abridged versions of history! No wonder we never learn the past.

Georgette said...

Your older novels are two of my all time favorites....and now I am so excited to learn there is a new one out....can't wait till I get the time to snuggle quietly with it and read it!